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Proceedings Paper

Precipitable water vapour content above the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory from GPS estimations
Author(s): B. García-Lorenzo; J. A. Castro-Almazán; A. Eff-Darwich; C. Muñoz-Tuñón; N. Pinilla-Alonso; J. M. Rodriguez-Espinosa; I. Romero
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Paper Abstract

The requirements for current large and future extremely large telescopes as well as the quick development of IR instrumentation demand a proper characterization of precipitable water vapour (PWV) above astronomical sites. A comparison of PWV estimations from a photometer and a GPS (Global Positioning System) above the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain) was carried out and it was found a linear relation between both measurements. Such relationship will allow the calibration of the GPS measurements recorded at ORM for the period June 2001- December 2008. These large time series of PWV estimations from GPS were used to perform a statistical analysis of water vapour content above this astronomical site. Average annual value of night-time PWV of 4.86 mm was found. It was also found a clear seasonal behavior of the PWV above ORM, with smaller water-vapour columns during winter nights (average 3.36 mm). The largest values of PWV are reached in the summer nights (average 6.75 mm). The data indicate that a significant percentage of nights (~38%) are well suited for thermal infrared observations (with PWV < 3 mm), and 71% of nights present a "fair" or better IR observation opportunity at ORM.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7475, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XIV, 74751H (29 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.830235
Show Author Affiliations
B. García-Lorenzo, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Univ. de La Laguna (Spain)
J. A. Castro-Almazán, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Univ. de La Laguna (Spain)
A. Eff-Darwich, Univ. de La Laguna (Spain)
C. Muñoz-Tuñón, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Univ. de La Laguna (Spain)
N. Pinilla-Alonso, NASA Ames Research Center (Spain)
J. M. Rodriguez-Espinosa, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Univ. de La Laguna (Spain)
I. Romero, Soluciones Avanzadas Canarias S. L. (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7475:
Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XIV
Richard H. Picard; Klaus Schäfer; Adolfo Comeron; Evgueni I. Kassianov; Christopher J. Mertens, Editor(s)

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