Solar Radiation Measurements Onboard the Research Aircraft HALO
Abstract:Airborne measurements of the separated upward and downward components of solar spectral actinic flux densities for the determination of photolysis frequencies and of upward nadir spectral radiance were performed with the HALO Solar Radiation (HALO-SR) instrument package onboard the High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO). The instrumentation of HALO-SR is characterized and first measurement data from the Next-generation Aircraft Remote-Sensing for Validation Studies (NARVAL) campaigns in 2013 and 2014 are presented. The measured data are analyzed in the context of the retrieved microphysical and optical properties of clouds which were observed underneath the aircraft.
Detailed angular sensitivities of the two optical actinic flux receivers were determined in the laboratory. The effects of deviations from the ideal response are investigated using radiative transfer calculations of atmospheric radiance distributions under various atmospheric conditions and different ground albedos. Corresponding correction factors are derived.
Example photolysis frequencies are presented, which were sampled in the free troposphere and lower stratosphere over the Atlantic Ocean during the 2013/14 HALO NARVAL campaigns. Dependencies of photolysis frequencies on cloud cover, flight altitude and wavelength range of the photolysis process are investigated.
Calculated actinic flux densities in the presence of clouds benefit from the measured spectral radiances. Retrieved cloud optical thicknesses and effective droplet radii are used as model input for the radiative transfer calculations. By comparison with the concurrent measurements of actinic flux densities the retrieval approach is validated.
Acknowledgements: Funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft within the priority program HALO (BO 1580/4-1, WE 1900/21-1) is gratefully acknowledged.