Proceedings PaperThe TSI Radiometer Facility: absolute calibrations for total solar irradiance instruments
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The total solar irradiance (TSI) climate data record includes overlapping measurements from 10 spaceborne radiometers. The continuity of this climate data record is essential for detecting potential long-term solar fluctuations, as offsets between different instruments generally exceed the stated instrument uncertainties. The risk of loss of continuity in this nearly 30-year record drives the need for future instruments with <0.01% uncertainty on a absolute scale. No facility currently exists to calibrate a TSI instrument end-to-end for irradiance at solar power levels to these needed accuracy levels. The new TSI Radiometer Facility (TRF) is intended to provide such calibrations. Based on a cryogenic radiometer with a uniform input light source of solar irradiance power levels, the TRF allows direct comparisons between a TSI instrument and a reference cryogenic radiometer viewing the same light beam in a common vacuum system. We describe here the details of this facility designed to achieve 0.01% absolute accuracy.