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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 12 — Apr. 20, 1999
  • pp: 2432–2439

Comparison of spectral irradiance standards used to calibrate shortwave radiometers and spectroradiometers

Piotr W. Kiedron, Joseph J. Michalsky, Jerry L. Berndt, and Lee C. Harrison  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 12, pp. 2432-2439 (1999)

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Absolute calibration of spectral shortwave radiometers is usually performed with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or NIST-traceable incandescent lamps. We compare 18 irradiance standards from NIST and three commercial vendors using the same spectrometer to assess their agreement with our working standard. The NIST procedure is followed for the 1000-W FEL lamps from NIST, Optronics, and EG&G. A modified calibration procedure developed by Li-Cor is followed for their 200-W tungsten–halogen lamps. Results are reproducible from one day to the next to approximately 0.1% using the same spectrometer. Measurements taken four months apart using two similar but different spectrometers were reproducible to 0.5%. The comparisons suggest that even NIST standards may disagree with each other beyond their stated accuracy. Some of the 1000-W commercial lamps agreed with the NIST lamps to within their stated accuracy, but not all. Surprisingly, the lowest-cost lamps from Li-Cor agreed much better with the NIST lamps than their stated accuracy of 4%, typically within 2%. An analysis of errors leads us to conclude that we can transfer the calibration from a standard lamp to a secondary standard lamp with approximately 1% added uncertainty. A field spectrometer was calibrated with a secondary standard, producing a responsivity for the spectrometer that was within 5% of the responsivity obtained by Langley calibration using routine field measurements.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(040.5160) Detectors : Photodetectors
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(120.5630) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Radiometry
(120.6200) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Spectrometers and spectroscopic instrumentation
(230.6080) Optical devices : Sources
(350.4800) Other areas of optics : Optical standards and testing

Original Manuscript: September 21, 1998
Revised Manuscript: January 11, 1999
Published: April 20, 1999

Piotr W. Kiedron, Joseph J. Michalsky, Jerry L. Berndt, and Lee C. Harrison, "Comparison of spectral irradiance standards used to calibrate shortwave radiometers and spectroradiometers," Appl. Opt. 38, 2432-2439 (1999)

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