The UV-A and visible solar irradiance spectrum: inter-comparison of absolutely calibrated, spectrally medium resolution solar irradiance spectra from balloon- and satellite-borne measurements
1Institut für Umweltphysik und Fernerkundung, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
2Institut für Umweltphysik, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
3Laboratoire de Physique Moléculaire et Applications (LPMA), Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
*now at: Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
Abstract. Within the framework of the ENVISAT/-SCIAMACHY satellite validation, solar irradiance spectra are absolutely measured at moderate resolution in the UV/visible spectral range (in the UV from 316.7–418 nm and the visible from 400–652 nm at a full width half maximum resolution of 0.55 nm and 1.48 nm, respectively) from aboard the azimuth-controlled LPMA/DOAS balloon gondola at around 32 km balloon float altitude. After accounting for the atmospheric extinction due to Rayleigh scattering and gaseous absorption (O3, and NO2), the measured solar spectra are compared with previous observations. Our solar irradiance is +1.6% larger than the re-calibrated Kurucz et al. (1984) solar spectrum (Fontenla et al., 1999, called MODTRAN 3.5) in the visible spectral range (435–650 nm), +1.5% larger in the (370–415 nm) wavelength interval, but −4% smaller in the UV spectral range (316.7–370 nm), when the Kurucz spectrum is convolved to the spectral resolution of our instrument. The same comparison with the SOLSPEC solar spectrum (Thuillier et al., 1997, 1998a, b) confirms the somewhat larger solar irradiance (+1.7%) measured by the balloon instrument from 435–500 nm, but not from 500–650 nm, where the SOLSPEC is −1.3% lower than MODTRAN 3.5. Comparison of the SCIAMACHY solar spectrum from channels 1 to 4 (– re-calibrated by the University of Bremen –) with MODTRAN 3.5 indicates an agreement of +0.2% in the visible spectral range (435–585 nm). With this calibration, the SCIAMACHY solar spectrum is congruent with the balloon observations (−1%) in the 316.7–370 nm wavelength range, but both are up to −5%/−3% smaller than MODTRAN 3.5 and SOLSPEC, respectively. In agreement with findings of Skupin et al. (2002) our study emphasizes that the present ESA SCIAMACHY level 1 calibration is systematically +15% larger in the considered wavelength intervals when compared to all available other solar irradiance measurements.