Results of Absolute Cavity Pyrgeometer and Infrared Integrating Sphere Comparisons

Ibrahim Reda, Manajit Sengupta, Julian Grobner, Christian Thomann, Chuck Long, Allison McComiskey, Emiel Hall, Stefan Wacker

Research output: NRELPoster


Accurate and traceable atmospheric longwave irradiance measurements are required for understanding radiative impacts on the Earth's energy budget. The standard to which pyrgeometers are traceable is the interim World Infrared Standard Group (WISG), maintained in the Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos (PMOD). The WISG consists of four pyrgeometers that were calibrated using Rolf Philipona's Absolute Sky-scanning Radiometer [1]. The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility has recently adopted the WISG to maintain the traceability of the calibrations of all Eppley precision infrared radiometer (PIR) pyrgeometers. Subsequently, Julian Grobner [2] developed the infrared interferometer spectrometer and radiometer (IRIS) radiometer, and Ibrahim Reda [3] developed the absolute cavity pyrgeometer (ACP). The ACP and IRIS were developed to establish a world reference for calibrating pyrgeometers with traceability to the International System of Units (SI). The two radiometers are unwindowed with negligible spectral dependence, and they are traceable to SI units through the temperature scale (ITS-90). The two instruments were compared directly to the WISG three times at PMOD and twice at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) facility to WISG-traceable pyrgeometers. The ACP and IRIS agreed within +/- 1 W/m2 to +/- 3 W/m2 in all comparisons, whereas the WISG references exhibit a 2-5 Wm2 low bias compared to the ACP/IRIS average, depending on the water vapor column, as noted in Grobner et al. [4]. Consequently, a case for changing the current WISG has been made by Grobner and Reda. However, during the five comparisons the column water vapor exceeded 8 mm. Therefore, it is recommended that more ACP and IRIS comparisons should be held under different environmental conditions and water vapor column content to better establish the traceability of these instruments to SI with established uncertainty.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePresented at the ARM/ASR Science Team Meeting at the 2018 Joint ARM User Facility and ASR PI Meeting, 19-23 March 2018, Tysons, Virginia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5D00-70955


  • absolute cavity pyrgeometers
  • ACPs
  • infrared integrating sphere
  • IRIS


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