Measuring Solar Spectral Energy Application Note

The value of Full-Range Spectroradiometers for measuring Solar Spectral Energy:

  • Many climate and surface energy balance studies involve monitoring the direct, diffuse and total components of solar spectral irradiance as they relate to the Earth’s atmosphere and surface (ASD Inc., n.d.).
  • Outdoors, the primary source of spectral irradiance is the sun. The diffuse radiation from the sky is found primarily in the visible and UV portions of the spectrum (ASD Inc., 2012).
  • “Because the solar radiation on the sun-surface-sensor path in the 0.4–2.5 μm visible and near-IR spectral regions is subject to absorption and scattering by atmospheric gases and aerosols, hyperspectral imaging data contains atmospheric effects. In order to use hyperspectral imaging data for quantitative remote sensing of land surfaces and ocean color, the atmospheric effects must be removed.” (Gao et al., 2009)
  • “Atmospheric turbidity generally inhibits reliable measures of vegetation and sometimes renders atmosphere-induced variations on canopy spectra to exceed those due to vegetation development. These effects make the accurate and quantitative translation of [vegetation indices] more difficult and complicated.“ (Gao et al., 2000)
  • “The illumination and appearance of the solar/skydome is critical for many applications in computer graphics, computer vision, and daylighting studies. Unfortunately, physically accurate measurements of this rapidly changing illumination source are difficult to achieve, but necessary for the development of accurate physically-based sky illumination models and comparison studies of existing simulation models.” (Kider et al., 2014)
  • “Radiance is normally obtained in the field by nadir measurement of specific ground targets, with incoming solar irradiance spectra typically acquired from coincident measurement of reflected energy flux from reference panels with known spectral and angular scattering properties.” (Peddle et al., 2001)

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