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Publication Date
1 March 2021

The Shortwave Spectral Radiometer for Atmospheric Science: Capabilities and Applications from the ARM User Facility



Industry advances have greatly reduced the cost and size of ground-based shortwave (SW) sensors for the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared spectral ranges that make up the solar spectrum, while simultaneously increasing their ruggedness, reliability, and calibration accuracy needed for outdoor operation. These sensors and collocated meteorological equipment are an important part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) User Facility, which has supported parallel integrated measurements of atmospheric and surface properties for more than two decades at fixed and mobile sites around the world. The versatile capability of these ground-based measurements includes 1) rich spectral information required for retrieving cloud and aerosol microphysical properties, such as cloud phase, cloud particle size, and aerosol size distributions, and 2) high temporal resolution needed for capturing fast evolution of cloud microphysical properties in response to rapid changes in meteorological conditions. Here we describe examples of how ARM’s spectral radiation measurements are being used to improve understanding of the complex processes governing microphysical, optical, and radiative properties of clouds and aerosol.

Riihimaki, Laura D., Connor Flynn, Allison McComiskey, Dan Lubin, Yann Blanchard, J. Christine Chiu, Graham Feingold, et al. 2021. “The Shortwave Spectral Radiometer For Atmospheric Science: Capabilities And Applications From The Arm User Facility”. Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society 102 (3). American Meteorological Society: E539-E554. doi:10.1175/bams-d-19-0227.1.
Funding Program Area(s)
Additional Resources:
NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center)