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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 4 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 1513-1531, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-1513-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 06 Apr 2016

Research article | 06 Apr 2016

The Austrian radiation monitoring network ARAD – best practice and added value

Marc Olefs1, Dietmar J. Baumgartner2, Friedrich Obleitner3, Christoph Bichler4,5, Ulrich Foelsche4,5, Helga Pietsch4, Harald E. Rieder5,4,6, Philipp Weihs7, Florian Geyer1, Thomas Haiden8, and Wolfgang Schöner9,6 Marc Olefs et al.
  • 1ZAMG – Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Vienna, Austria
  • 2Kanzelhöhe Observatory for Solar and Environmental Research, University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  • 3Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 4Institute for Geophysics, Astrophysics and Meteorology/Institute of Physics (IGAM/IP), University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  • 5Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change (WEGC), University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  • 6Austrian Polar Research Institute, Vienna, Austria
  • 7Institute for Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 8European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, UK
  • 9Institute for Geography and Regional Research University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Abstract. The Austrian RADiation monitoring network (ARAD) has been established to advance the national climate monitoring and to support satellite retrieval, atmospheric modeling and the development of solar energy techniques. Measurements cover the downward solar and thermal infrared radiation using instruments according to Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) standards. A unique feature of ARAD is its vertical dimension of five stations, covering an altitude range between about 200ma.s.l (Vienna) and 3100ma.s.l. (BSRN site Sonnblick). The paper outlines the aims and scopes of ARAD, its measurement and calibration standards, methods, strategies and station locations. ARAD network operation uses innovative data processing for quality assurance and quality control, utilizing manual and automated control algorithms. A combined uncertainty estimate for the broadband shortwave radiation fluxes at all five ARAD stations, using the methodology specified by the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement indicates that relative accuracies range from 1.5 to 2.9% for large signals (global, direct: 1000Wm−2, diffuse: 500Wm−2) and from 1.7 to 23% (or 0.9 to 11.5Wm−2) for small signals (50Wm−2) (expanded uncertainties corresponding to the 95% confidence level). If the directional response error of the pyranometers and the temperature response of the instruments and the data acquisition system (DAQ) are corrected, this expanded uncertainty reduces to 1.4 to 2.8% for large signals and to 1.7 to 5.2% (or 0.9–2.6Wm−2) for small signals. Thus, for large signals of global and diffuse radiation, BSRN target accuracies are met or nearly met (missed by less than 0.2 percentage points, pps) for 70% of the ARAD measurements after this correction. For small signals of direct radiation, BSRN targets are achieved at two sites and nearly met (also missed by less than 0.2 pps) at the other sites. For small signals of global and diffuse radiation, targets are achieved at all stations. Additional accuracy gains can be achieved in the future through additional measurements, corrections and a further upgrade of the DAQ. However, to improve the accuracy of measurements of direct solar radiation, improved instrument accuracy is needed. ARAD could serve as a useful example for establishing state-of-the-art radiation monitoring at the national level with a multiple-purpose approach. Instrumentation, guidelines and tools (such as the data quality control) developed within ARAD are intended to increase monitoring capabilities of global radiation and thus designed to allow straightforward adoption in other regions, without high development costs.

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We present the Austrian RADiation monitoring network (ARAD) that has been established to advance national climate monitoring and to support satellite retrieval, atmospheric modeling and solar energy techniques' development. Measurements cover the downwelling solar and thermal infrared radiation using instruments according to Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) standards. The paper outlines the aims and scopes of ARAD, its measurement and calibration standards, methods and strategies.
We present the Austrian RADiation monitoring network (ARAD) that has been established to advance...
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