Influence of cosine corrector and UAS platform dynamics on airborne spectral irradiance measurements
Bendig, J and Gautam, D and Malenovsky, Z and Lucieer, A, Influence of cosine corrector and UAS platform dynamics on airborne spectral irradiance measurements, Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2018), 22-27 July 2018, Valencia, Spain, pp. 8822-8825. ISBN 978-1-5386-7150-4 (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Measuring solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence from small-sized Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) can potentially fill the scaling gap between ground-based and airborne/space-borne observations. These measurements require well calibrated' high-spectral resolution spectroradiometers and precise measurements of vegetation radiance and incoming solar irradiance. Here we present a system equipped with a spectroradiometer with a split optical path that measures incoming irradiance through a cosine corrector/diffuser. The objectives of this study are to characterise cosine corrected solar irradiance measurements with regard to sensor homogeneity and possible offset from an ideal cosine response. We further suggest a methodology to calculate a corrected zenith angle that accounts for changing sensor orientation due to pitch, roll and heading of the UAS platform during flight. We found that the cosine corrector is sufficiently homogeneous, thus measurements are independent of UAS heading. The response follows the cosine law for zenith angles, however, the sensor significantly underestimated irradiance for zenith angles > 10°, with overall cosine errors ranging from 0.991 to 1.229. Yet, typical in-flight platform pitch and roll angles produce a zenith angle offset of up to 6° in low wind conditions. Cosine sensor measurements corrected for the zenith angle offset and the cosine error resulted in a 1.7 % change in irradiance.