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Proceedings Paper

Novel solar aureolometer concept based on reflective optics
Author(s): J. Robert Mahan; Bernardo A. Carnicero; Felix J. Nevarez; Ira J. Sorensen
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Paper Abstract

Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in determining the Earth's radiant energy budget and hence its climate. Aerosol measurement are needed both for intensive aerosol/climate field studies and to validate satellite measurements of aerosols and radiation. Solar aureolemeters measure the angular distribution of sunlight scattered by atmospheric aerosols in the circumsolar sky. The data obtained are interpreted in terms of aerosol single- scattering phase function, aerosol size distribution, and aerosol index of refraction. Recently interest has turned to tracking airborne instruments capable of sounding vertical profiles of these quantities. A significant engineering problem inherent to practical aureolemeters is the need to occult the solar disk while viewing the circumsolar sky. This is accomplished with an occulting disk mounted a meter or more in front of the instrument aperture. It is clear that such a long protrusion into the air stream is unacceptable for a tracking airborne instrument. The novel concept reported here uses two-mirror reflective optics in which radiation from the solar disk is captured by a cooled cavity behind an aperture at the center of the secondary mirror. This innovation makes it possible for the first time to implement a compact aureolemeter whose physical length is on the order of centimeters rather than meters.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 August 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3737, Design and Engineering of Optical Systems II, (27 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.360011
Show Author Affiliations
J. Robert Mahan, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Bernardo A. Carnicero, Univ. de Zaragoza (Spain)
Felix J. Nevarez, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Ira J. Sorensen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3737:
Design and Engineering of Optical Systems II
Fritz Merkle, Editor(s)

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