Four POM Sky Radiometers for the Italian Air Force

Four POM Sky Radiometers for the Italian Air Forcearticle picture
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013 With the increasing interest in climate change and global warming research, the effects of stratospheric aerosols are being studied with greater attention. Aerosols contribute to climate forcing through different mechanisms; on one hand, they interact with the incident solar radiation by reflecting it back to space or by absorbing it. On the other hand, they also act as condensation nuclei, modifying the properties of the clouds, which also affect precipitation efficiency.

For studying the radiative forcing of aerosols, the sky-sun radiometry technique is the most accurate. Sky-sun radiometry is well established for measuring aerosol properties in the atmospheric column. It consists of measuring two variables at ground level; direct irradiance from the sun and diffuse radiance from the sky, in different spectral bands.

The Meteorological Service of the Italian Air Force, along with tasks which are strictly related to their missions of aviation and weather forecasting, is also making special observations such as ozone and solar radiation.

In 2010 the Italian Air Force issued a tender with the objective to procure systems to measure atmospheric turbidity (aerosol optical depth in the atmosphere), to complement their existing measurement network. As a result, four POM-01 Sky Radiometers (manufactured by Prede Co. Ltd. in Tokyo and distributed by Kipp & Zonen) were delivered in 2011 to Vitrociset SpA., the contractor for the procurement and installation. The systems will be installed in the near future at the Air Force sites located in:

  • Vigna di Valle (RESMA - Research Centre) by Lake Bracciano,north of Rome;
  • Monte Cimone (CAMM - Air Force Mountain Observatory), in the Appenine Mountains, south-west of Bologna;
  • Monte Paganella in the Dolomite Mountains; and
  • Messina, Sicily.

RESMA has been operating for a century with the task of studying and experimenting with meteorological instrumentation and of managing the data collected from special measurement networks; such as ozone, carbon dioxide, global solar radiation, sunshine duration and the chemical analysis of precipitation.

CAMM is established on Mount Cimone, at 2165 m altitude and has the task of carrying out environmental observations, in particular the values of background concentrations of atmospheric pollutants. Besides ordinary observations, special measurements are made of ozone, solar radiation, precipitation sampling and carbon dioxide.

POM-01 and POM-02 are used in the Asia-Pacific SKYNET network, in the European Skyrad Users Network (ESR) and for aerosol monitoring and satellite ground-truthing around the world.

Vitrociset SpA.
Contact: Franco Bassetto
Kipp & Zonen is represented in Italy by Eurelettronica Icas Srl.
Contact: Maria Rita Leccese

Article by Marco Mariano of Eurelettronica Icas and Franco Bassetto of Vitrociset SpA

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