New developments in aerosol measurements using stellar photometry
Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences,
2 Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Ondřejov
3 Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
4 Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague
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Published online: 15 January 2019
The idea of using stellar photometry for atmospheric monitoring for optical experiments in highenergy astrophysics is seemingly straightforward, but reaching high precision of the order of 0.01 in the determination of the vertical aerosol optical depth (VAOD) has proven difficult. Wide-field photometry over a large span of altitudes allows a fast determination of VAOD independently of the absolute calibration of the system, while providing this calibration as a useful by-product. Using several years of data taken by the FRAM (F/(Ph)otometric Robotic Atmospheric Monitor) telescope at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina and about a year of data taken by a similar instrument deployed at the planned future Southern site of the Cherenkov Telescope Array in Chile, we have developed methods to improve the precision of this measurement technique towards and possibly beyond the 0.01 mark. Detailed laboratory measurements of the response of the whole system to both the spectrum and intensity of incoming light have proven indispensable in this analysis as the usual assumption of linearity of the CCD detectors is not valid anymore for the conditions of the observations.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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