Charged-coupled device Actinic Flux Spectroradiometers (CAFS)


Operated By: 

The Charged-coupled device Actinic Flux Spectroradiometers (CAFS) instruments measure in situ down- and up-welling radiation and combine to provide 4 pi steradian actinic flux density spectra from 280 to 650 nm. The sampling resolution is ~0.8 nm with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 1.7 nm at 297 nm. From the measured flux, photolysis frequencies are calculated for ~40 important atmospheric trace gases including O3, NO2, HCHO, HONO and NO3 using a modified version of the NCAR Tropospheric Ultraviolet and Visible (TUV) radiative transfer model. The absolute spectral sensitivity of the instruments is determined in the laboratory with 1000 W NIST-traceable tungsten-halogen lamps with a wavelength dependent uncertainty of 3–5%. During deployments, spectral sensitivity is assessed with secondary calibration lamps while wavelength assignment is tracked with Hg line sources and comparisons to spectral features in the extraterrestrial flux. The optical collectors are characterized for angular and azimuthal response and the effective planar receptor distance. CAFS have an excellent legacy of performance on the NASA DC-8 and WB-57 platforms during atmospheric chemistry and satellite validation mission. These include AVE Houston 2004 and 2005, PAVE, CR-AVE, TC4, ARCTAS, DC3, SEAC4RS, KORUS-AQ, ATom and FIREX-AQ. For FIREX-AQ, upgraded electronics and cooling reduced noise and allowed for a decrease to 1 Hz acquisition.

Instrument Type: 
Recent Missions: 
FIREX-AQ (DC-8 - AFRC); KORUS-AQ (DC-8 - AFRC); ATom (DC-8 - AFRC); SEAC4RS (DC-8 - AFRC); ARCTAS (DC-8 - AFRC); TC4 (WB-57 - JSC, DC-8 - AFRC)
Complete mission list:
Point(s) of Contact: 
Samuel R. Hall (POC; PI), Kirk Ullmann (Co-I), Richard E. Shetter (Prev PI)