EKO Instruments recently went to the NOAA observatory at Mauna Loa on Hawaii island (Latitude: 19.5362° North Longitude: 155.5763° West). Mauna Loa is a world-renowned research site for measuring solar radiation and atmospheric constituent concentrations. From aerosols to trace gases, NOAA and other institutions have installed a platform of outstanding equipment and instrumentation used intended for long term monitoring. Long term data sets are critical to understanding the change in radiative effects these constituents are having on a changing climate. What makes Mauna Loa such a great site is the installation is above the planetary boundary layer (3397 masl), making it a perfect candidate for performing Langley calibrations. Langley calibrations make use of the sun as the source radiation signal with the high dynamic range seen over a wide range of air masses. Mauna Loa gives good opportunities for the calibration.
EKO’s primary goal of the trip was to perform this Langley calibration using each of our reference spectroradiometers (MS series 700, 701, 711, and 712). This calibration campaign will provide insight into possible improvements to our calibration processes as well as a wonderful opportunity to test new devices. With some additional work, we hope to provide a spectrometer based sensor for retrieving aerosol optical depth (AOD). These commercially available products would be a first instrument unlike sun photometers, the AOD values would be accompanied with high resolution spectrum data. All important information for understanding the radiative effects of changes in atmospheric constituents.