National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA).
What does this program measure?
We are measuring visible and near infrared radiation at 6 distinct visible and near infrared wavelengths using A Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR). The unit of measurement is watts per meter squared.
How does this program work?
The MFRSR, manufactured by Yankee Environmental systems, uses a set of six narrow band-pass filters to define the measured wavelengths. These filters are placed in front of silicone photo detectors which measure the incident radiant energy at the selected wavelength. Data is collected continuously at MLO.
Why is this research important?
These data are being collected to assess the long term stability of measurements made by several MFRSRs. The measurements are made at MLO because of the clean air and clear sky conditions which are found nowhere else. With the stable conditions available at MLO a good assessment of the condition of the measurement device can be made.
Are there any trends in the data?
The MFRSRs have been shown to have small continuous changes in measurement stability over a period of several years.
How does this program fit into the big picture?
What is it's role in global climate change?
The measurements we make at MLO are used to calibrate and determine the long term stability of our Multi Filter Shadowband Radiometers. These MFRSRs are used in satellite ground truth studies for NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project. These ground truth studies are preformed at the CERES Ocean Validation Site (COVE) site in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 25 kilometers east of Virginia Beach, Virginia USA. CERES is a high priority scientific satellite instrument which is now orbiting the Earth. CERES data are used to study the ways in which clouds may affect the Earth's climate.