We present accurately calibrated submillimeter atmospheric transmission spectra obtained with a Fourier-transform spectrometer at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. These measurements cover the 0.9–0.3-mm wavelength range and are the first in a series aimed at defining the terrestrial long-wave atmospheric transmission curve. The 4.1-km altitude of the Mauna Kea site provides access to extremely low zenith water-vapor columns, permitting atmospheric observations at frequencies well above those possible from sea level. We describe the calibration procedures, present our first well-calibrated transmission spectra, and compare our results with those of a single-layer atmospheric transmission model, AT. With an empirical best-fit continuum opacity term included, this simple single-layer model provides a remarkably good fit to the opacity data for H2O line profiles described by either van Vleck–Weisskopf or kinetic shapes.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
Original Manuscript: February 12, 1997
Revised Manuscript: November 3, 1997
Published: April 20, 1998
E. Serabyn, E. W. Weisstein, D. C. Lis, and J. R. Pardo, "Submillimeter Fourier-transform spectrometer measurements of atmospheric opacity above Mauna Kea," Appl. Opt. 37, 2185-2198 (1998)