Global spectral irradiance array spectroradiometer validation according to WMO.

12 November 2018


Solar spectral irradiance measured by two recently developed array spectroradiometers (called UV-BTS and VIS-BTS) are compared to the results of a scanning double monochromator system which is certified as a travelling reference instrument by the Network for the detection of atmospheric composition change (NDACC) and fulfils the specifications of S-2 UV instruments of the world meteorological organization (WMO).

The comparison took place between 15 and 18 May 2017 at the Institute of Meteorology and Climatology of the University of Hanover (IMuK) between 4:00 and 17:00UTC. The UV-BTS array spectroradiometer is equipped with special hardware to significantly reduce internal stray light which has been the limiting factor of many array spectroradiometers in the past. It covers a wavelength range of 200 nm–430 nm.

The VIS-BTS covers a wider spectral range from 280 nm up to 1050 nm, and stray light reduction is achieved by mathematical methods. For the evaluation, wavelength integrated quantities and spectral global irradiance are compared. The deviation for UV index measured by the UV-BTS, is within ±1% for solar zenith angles (SZA) below 70° and increased to a maximum of ±3% for SZA between 70° and 85° when synchronisation between measurements was possible.

The deviation of global spectral irradiance is smaller ±2.5% in the spectral range from 300 nm to 420 nm (evaluated for SZA < 70°). The VIS-BTS achieved the same deviation for blue light hazard as the UV-BTS for the UV index. The evaluations of global spectral irradiance data of the VIS-BTS show a deviation smaller than ±2% in the spectral range from 365 nm to 900 nm (evaluated for SZA < 70°).

Below 365 nm, the deviation rises up to ±7% at 305 nm due to remaining stray light. The agreement within the limited time of the intercomparison is considered to be satisfactory for a number of applications and provides a good basis for further investigations.


Zuber, R., Ribnitzky, M., Tobar, M., Lange, K., Kutscher, D., Schrempf, M., Niedzwiedz, A. and Seckmeyer, G., 2018. Global spectral irradiance array spectroradiometer validation according to WMO. Measurement Science and Technology, 29(10), p.105801.

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