Water vapor sounding with the far infrared REFIR-PAD spectroradiometer from a high-altitude ground-based station during the ECOWAR campaign

Year: 2011

Authors: Bianchini G., Palchetti L., Muscari G., Fiorucci I., Di Girolamo P., Di Iorio T.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, I-00143 Roma, Italy; Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Fisica dell

Abstract: The Radiation Explorer in the Far InfraRed-Prototype for Applications and Development (REFIR-PAD) spectroradiometer was operated from the Testa Grigia Italian-Alps station in March 2007 during the Earth Cooling by Water Vapour Radiation (ECOWAR) measurement campaign, obtaining downwelling radiance spectra in the 100-1100 cm-1 range, under clear-sky conditions and in the presence of cirrus clouds. The analysis of these measurements has proven that the instrument is capable of determining precipitable water vapor with a total uncertainty of 5-7% by using the far-infrared rotational band of water. The measurement is unaffected by the presence of cirri, whose optical depth can be instead retrieved as an additional parameter. Information on the vertical profiles of water vapor volume mixing ratio and temperature can also be retrieved for three altitude levels. The ability to measure the water vapor column with a simple, uncooled instrument, capable of operating continuously and with a time resolution of about 10 min, makes REFIR-PAD a very valuable instrument for meteorological and climatological studies for the characterization of the water vapor distribution. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.


Volume: 116      Pages from: D02310  to: D02310

More Information: The authors want to acknowledge Francesco Castagnoli, of IFAC-CNR, for on-site technical support during the ECOWAR measurement campaign. This research was carried out with a grant from MIUR PRIN 2005, project 2005025202/Area 02, and funding from NASA grant NAG 513029. We are indebted to the Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (INAF/IFSI), the Centro Nazionale di Meteorologia e Climatologia Aeronautica (CNMA), and the town of Valtournenche (Breuil-Cervinia) for logistic support at the two field sites of Plateau Rosa and Cervinia. Last, we would like to thank Marco Cacciani of the Department of Physics, Laboratory for Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, of the University of Rome \”La Sapienza.\”
KeyWords: Clouds; Instruments; Radiometers; Spectrometers; Uncertainty analysis, Cirrus clouds; Down-welling; Earth cooling; Far-infrared; Ground-based stations; High altitude; Measurement campaign; Optical depth; Precipitable water vapor; Radiance spectra; Radiation explorer in the far infrared; Rotational band; Sky condition; Spectro-radiometers; Time resolution; Uncooled; Vertical profile; Volume mixing ratios; Water vapor distribution; Water vapour, Water vapor, altitude; cirrus; clear sky; ground-based measurement; meteorology; mixing ratio; optical depth; radiance; temperature profile; water vapor, Alps; Italy
DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014530

Citations: 10
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