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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-336
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-336
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 04 Nov 2019

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

Development of a Universal Correction Algorithm for Filter-Based Absorption Photometers

Hanyang Li1, Gavin R. McMeeking2, and Andrew A. May1 Hanyang Li et al.
  • 1The Ohio State University Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • 2Handix Scientific, LLC, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract. Among the various measurement approaches to quantify light absorption coefficient (Babs), filter-based absorption photometers are dominant in monitoring networks around the globe. Numerous correction algorithms have been introduced to minimize the artifacts due to the presence of the filter in these instruments. However, from our recent studies conducted during the Fire Influence on Regional and Global Environments Experiment (FIREX) laboratory campaign, corrected filter-based Babs remains biased high by roughly a factor of 2.5 when compared to a reference value using a photoacoustic instrument for biomass burning emissions. Similar over-estimations of Babs from filter-based instruments exist when implementing the algorithms on six months of ambient data from the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) user facility from 2013 (factor of roughly 3). In both datasets, we observed an apparent dependency on single scattering albedo (SSA) and absorption Ångström exponent (AAE) in the agreement between Babs based on existing correction factors and the reference Babs. Consequently, we developed a new correction approach that is applicable to any filter-based absorption photometer that includes light transmission from the filter-based instrument as well as the derived AAE and SSA. For the FIREX and SGP datasets, our algorithm results in good agreement between all corrected filter-based Babs values from different filter-based instruments and the reference (slopes ≈ 1 and R2 ≈ 0.98 for biomass burning aerosols and slopes ≈ 1.05 and R2 ≈ 0.65 for ambient aerosols). Moreover, for both the corrected Babs and the derived optical properties (SSA and AAE), our new algorithms work better or at least as well as the two common PSAP-based correction algorithms. The uncertainty of the new correction algorithm is estimated to be ~10 %, considering the measurement uncertainties of the operated instruments. Therefore, our correction algorithm is universally applicable to any filter-based absorption photometer and has the potential to “standardize” reported results across any filter-based instrument.

Hanyang Li et al.
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Short summary
We present a new correction algorithm that address biases in measurements of aerosol light absorption by filter-based photometers, incorporating the transmission of light through the filter as well as some aerosol optical properties. It was developed using biomass burning aerosols and tested using rural ambient aerosols. This new algorithm is applicable to any filter-based photometer, resulting in good agreement between different co-located instruments in both the laboratory and the field.
We present a new correction algorithm that address biases in measurements of aerosol light...
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