OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 22 — Aug. 1, 2007
  • pp: 5176–5182

Nighttime measurements of atmospheric optical thickness by star photometry with a digital camera

Orietta Lanciano and Giorgio Fiocco  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 22, pp. 5176-5182 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (3751 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Nighttime stellar photometric measurements have been carried out with a commercial digital single-lens reflex camera to determine the atmospheric optical thickness on large fields of view (FOV). Specific procedures of image analysis allow to extract an equivalent irradiance for a number of stars and for the sky light background; thus, a measure of the optical thickness in each star direction can be retrieved. A larger FOV is obtained by stitching several photographs shot in quick sequence on adjacent regions of the sky: such measurements provide almost instantaneous maps of optical thickness and skylight background that indicate the degree of homogeneity of the aerosol load. Additional information provided by the combined use of the camera and a lidar is presented. The zenithal optical thickness is used with values of the aerosol backscatter provided by a lidar system to obtain the aerosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1320) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric transmittance
(010.3640) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Lidar
(040.1490) Detectors : Cameras
(100.2000) Image processing : Digital image processing
(280.1120) Remote sensing and sensors : Air pollution monitoring

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and ocean optics

Original Manuscript: October 3, 2006
Revised Manuscript: March 29, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: March 31, 2007
Published: July 9, 2007

Orietta Lanciano and Giorgio Fiocco, "Nighttime measurements of atmospheric optical thickness by star photometry with a digital camera," Appl. Opt. 46, 5176-5182 (2007)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. G. Roosen, R. J. Angione, and C. H. Clemcke, "Worldwide variations in atmospheric transmission, 1, Baseline results from Smithsonian observations," Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 54, 307-316 (1973). [CrossRef]
  2. F. E. Volz, "Turbidity at Uppsala from 1909 to 1922 from Sjostroms solar radiation measurements," Report 28 (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, 1968), pp. 100-104.
  3. B. N. Holben, D. Tanrè, A. Smirnov, T. F. Eck, I. Sluttsker, N. Abuhassan, W. W. Newcomb, J. S. Schafer, B. Chatenet, F. Lavenu, Y. J. Kaufman, J. Vande Castle, A. Setzer, B. Markham, D. Clark, R. Frouin, R. Halthore, A. Karneli, N. T. O'Neill, C. Pietras, R. T. Pinker, K. Voss, and G. Zibordi, "An emerging ground-based aerosol climatology: Aerosol optical depth from AERONET," J. Geophys. Res. 12, 067-097 (2001).
  4. A. Ansmann, F. Wagner, D. Müller, D. Althausen, A. Herber, W. von Hoyningen-Huene, and U. Wandinger, "European pollution outbreaks during ACE 2: optical particle properties inferred from multiwavelength lidar and star-Sun photometry," J. Geophys. Res. 8, 1-14 (2002).
  5. J. E. Barnes, S. Bronner, R. Beck, and N. C. Parikh, "Boundary layer scattering measurements with a charge-coupled device camera lidar," Appl. Opt. 42, 2647-2652 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. ESA, "The Tycho Catalogue," Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg, http://vizier.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/VizieR.
  7. "The IDL astronomy user's library," NASA, http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov.
  8. Software Bisque, "The sky astronomy software," www.bisque.com.
  9. R. M. Green, Spherical Astronomy (Cambridge U. Press, 1985), pp. 305-330.
  10. P. Giannone, Elementi di Astronomia (Pitagora, 1996), pp. 153-156.
  11. R. H. Hardie, "Photoelectric reductions," in Astronomical Techniques, W. A. Hiltner, ed., Stars and Stellar Systems, II (U. of Chicago Press, 1962), pp. 178-208.
  12. M. F. Skrutskie, R. M. Cutri, R. Stiening, M. D. Weinberg, S. Schneider, J. M. Carpenter, C. Beichman, R. Capps, T. Chester, J. Elias, J. Huchra, J. Liebert, C. Lonsdale, D. G. Monet, S. Price, P. Seitzer, T. Jarrett, J. D. Kirkpatrick, J. Gizis, E. Howard, T. Evans, J. Fowler, L. Fullmer, R. Hurt, R. Light, E. L. Kopan, K. A. Marsh, H. L. McCallon, R. Tam, S. Van Dyk, and S. Wheelock, "The two micron all sky survey," Astron. J. 131, 1163-1183 (2006). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited