A Method to Measure the Broadband Longwave Irradiance in the Terrestrial Direct Solar Beam

Ibrahim Reda, Jörgen Konings, Yu Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


Shortwave radiometers such as pyranometers, pyrheliometers, photovoltaic cells, and longwave radiometers such as pyrgeometers are calibrated with traceability to consensus References, which are maintained by Absolute Cavity Radiometers (ACRs) and the World InfraRed Standard Group (WISG), respectively. Since the ACR is an open cavity with no window, and was developed to measure the extended broadband spectrum of the terrestrial direct solar beam irradiance, then there would be discrepancy in calibrating the shortwave radiometers because of their limited spectral band. On the other hand, pyrgeometers are calibrated during the nighttime only, because no consensus reference has yet been established for the daytime longwave irradiance. This article describes a method to measure the broadband longwave irradiance in the terrestrial direct solar beam from 3μm to 50μm. The method might be used in developing calibration methods to address the mismatch between the broadband ACR and shortwave radiometers, and the lack of a daytime reference for pyrgeometer calibration. We used the described method to measure the irradiance from sunrise to sunset; the irradiance varied from approximately 1Wm-2 to 16Wm-2 with an estimated uncertainty of 1.46Wm-2, for a solar zenith angle range from 80° to 16°, respectively.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-3B10-63293


  • Longwave in direct solar beam
  • Pyranometer
  • Pyrgeometer
  • Pyrheliometer


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