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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

The polarized sun and sky radiometer SSARA: design, calibration, and application for ground based aerosol remote sensing

Hans Grob, Claudia Emde, Matthias Wiegner, Meinhard Seefeldner, and Bernhard Mayer Hans Grob et al.
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Institut für Meteorologie, Munich, Germany

Abstract. Recently, polarimetry has been used to enhance classical photometry to infer aerosol optical properties, as polarized radiation contains additional information about the particles. Therefore, we have equipped the SSARA sun and sky photometer with polarizer filters to measure linearly polarized light at 501.5 nm.

We have developed a novel radiometric and polarimetric calibration method, which allows us to simultaneously determine the linear polarizers' diattenuation and relative orientation with high accuracy (0.002 and 0.1°, respectively). Furthermore, we employed a new calibration method for the azimuthal mount capable of correcting the instrument's pointing to within 32 arcmin. So far, this is limited by the accuracy of the sun-tracker. Both these methods are applicable to other sun and sky radiometers, such as Cimel CE318-DP instruments used in AERONET.

During the A-LIFE field campaign in April 2017, SSARA collected 22 days of data. Here, we present two case studies: The first demonstrates the performance of an aerosol retrieval from SSARA observations under partially cloudy conditions. In the other case, a high aerosol load due to a Saharan dust layer was present during otherwise perfect clear sky conditions.

Hans Grob et al.
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Status: open (until 22 Sep 2019)
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Hans Grob et al.
Hans Grob et al.
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Short summary
Polarimetry has been established as an enhancement to classical photometry in aerosol remote sensing over the past years. We propose a fast and exact radiometric and polarimetric calibration method for polarized photometers. Additionally, a technique for correcting an alt-azimuthal mount is introduced. These methods are applied to measurements obtained with our SSARA instrument during the A-LIFE field campaign. The data for two days are subjected to an inversion of aerosol optical properties.
Polarimetry has been established as an enhancement to classical photometry in aerosol remote...