Scientific Results

Far-infrared spectrally resolved broadband emission of the atmosphere from Morello and Gomito mountains near Florence

Year: 2008

Authors: Bianchini G., Palchetti L., Baglioni A., Castagnoli F.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara IFAC-CNR, Via Madonna del Piano 10, Florence, Italy

Abstract: The spectrally-resolved characterization of the atmospheric emission has a fundamental role in the study of the Earth radiation balance, and only a measurement performed in a wide spectral range enables us to separate the contributions to the radiative balance due to the different altitudes, constituents and physical phases. The REFIR-PAD (Radiation Explorer in the Far InfraRed-Prototype for Application and Development) Fourier transform spectroradiometer can perform a characterization of the broadband radiative signature of clouds and aerosols, with the only limitation of the need of low levels of water vapour like those that are obtainable in high altitude stations during winter. The capabilities of this kind of measurement have been assessed in a series of test campaign performed in Tuscany during the winter of 2006/2007 when atmospheric emission spectra have been acquired in various transparency conditions and the evidence of transparency in the far-infrared region below 600 cm-1 has been demonstrated. REFIR-PAD operates in the spectral range extending from 100 to 1400 cm-1 with a resolution of 0.5 cm -1, using room-temperature detectors and optics and a compact, misalignment-compensated design. The instrument, developed at IFAC-CNR, Florence, has been successfully deployed in several campaigns, both in the ground based zenith-looking geometry and in the nadir-looking balloon borne configuration. The operating spectral range of the REFIR-PAD spectroradiometer encompasses great part of the atmospheric emission spectrum, from the relatively unexplored far-infrared region below 400 cm-1, dominated by water vapour rotational band, to the atmospheric transparency window, where a number of atmospheric instruments are already operating and can provide intercomparison data.

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KeyWords: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Radiation effects; Water vapor; Wave effects, Downwelling long-wave radiation; Emission sounding, Atmospherics

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