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https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-116
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2020-116
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  13 Jul 2020

13 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Monitoring of solar spectral ultraviolet irradiance in Aosta, Italy

Ilias Fountoulakis1, Henri Diémoz1,2, Anna Maria Siani3, Gregor Hülsen4, and Julian Gröbner4 Ilias Fountoulakis et al.
  • 1Aosta Valley Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA), 11020 Saint-Christophe, Italy
  • 2Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, 00185 Rome, Italy
  • 3Physics Department, Sapienza Università di Roma, 00185 Rome, Italy
  • 4WCC-UV, PMOD/WRC, Dorfstrasse 33, Davos Dorf, CH-7260, Switzerland

Abstract. A Bentham DTMc300 spectrophotometer is deployed at the station of Aosta–Saint-Christophe, Italy, at the headquarters of the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA) and performs continuous high quality spectral measurements of the solar ultraviolet (UV) irradiance since 2006. The measuring site is located in the North-western of the Alps, in a large valley floor at the altitude of 570 m a.s.l., surrounded by mountains. It is very significant to have accurate measurements in such a sensitive environment, since the complex terrain and the strongly variable meteo-climatic conditions typical of the Alps induce large spatial and temporal variability in the surface levels of the solar UV irradiance. The spectroradiometer is moreover used as a reference of a regional UV network, with additional stations located at different altitudes (1640 and 3500 m a.s.l.) and environmental conditions (mountain and glacier). In the present study we discuss the procedures and the technical aspects which ensure the high quality of the measurements performed by the reference instrument, and subsequently of the entire network. In particular, we describe the procedures used to characterize the Bentham for its characteristics which affect the quality of the measurements. The used Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QA/QC) procedures are also discussed. We show that the good quality of the spectral measurements is further ensured by a strong traceability chain to the world reference QASUME and a strict calibration protocol. Recently, the spectral UV dataset of Aosta–Saint-Christophe has been re-evaluated and homogenized. The final spectra consist one of the most accurate datasets globally. At wavelengths above 310 nm and for solar zenith angles below 75° the expanded uncertainty in the final dataset decreases with time, from 7 % in 2006 to 4 % in the present. The present study not only serves as the reference document for any future use of the data, but also provides useful information for experiments and novel techniques which have been applied for the characterization of the instrument, and the QA/QC of the spectral UV measurements. Furthermore, the study clearly shows that maintaining a strong traceability chain to a reference instrument is critical for the good quality of the measurements. The studied spectral dataset is freely accessible at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3934324 (Fountoulakis et al., 2020).

Ilias Fountoulakis et al.

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Data sets

Level 2 spectra of the global solar irradiance in the wavelength range 290 - 500 nm measured at Aosta - Saint Christophe, Italy by the Bentham DTMc300 with serial number 5541 in 2006 - 2019 Ilias Fountoulakis, Henri Diémoz, Annamaria Siani, Gregor Hülsen, & Julian Gröbner https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3934324

Ilias Fountoulakis et al.

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Short summary
In this study we discuss the procedures and the technical aspects which ensure the high quality of the measurements of the global solar ultraviolet (UV) irradiance performed by a Bentham spectroradiometer located at Aosta Saint-Christophe, (north-western Alps) Italy. The particular instrument is the reference for the Aosta Valley UV monitoring network, which is the first UV monitoring network in Italy. The final spectra constitute one of the most accurate datasets globally.
In this study we discuss the procedures and the technical aspects which ensure the high quality...
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