ASTM E824 - 10

    Standard Test Method for Transfer of Calibration From Reference to Field Radiometers

    Active Standard ASTM E824 | Developed by Subcommittee: G03.09

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.04


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    Significance and Use

    The methods described represent the preferable means for calibration of field radiometers employing standard reference radiometers. Other methods involve the employment of an optical bench and essentially a point source of artificial light. While these methods are useful for cosine and azimuth correction analyses, they suffer from foreground view factor and directionality problems. Transfer of calibration indoors using artificial sources is not covered by this test method.

    Traceability of calibration of global pyranometers is accomplished when employing the method using a reference global pyranometer that has been calibrated, and is traceable to the World Radiometric Reference (WRR). For the purposes of this test method, traceability shall have been established if a parent instrument in the calibration chain participated in an International Pyrheliometric Comparison (IPC) conducted at the World Radiation Center (WRC) in Davos, Switzerland. Traceability of calibration of narrow- and broad-band radiometers is accomplished when employing the method using a reference ultraviolet radiometer that has been calibrated and is traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), or other national standards organizations. See Zerlaut for a discussion of the WRR, the IPC's and their results.

    The reference global pyranometer (for example, one measuring hemispherical solar radiation at all wavelengths) shall have been calibrated by the shading-disk or component summation method against one of the following instruments:

    An absolute cavity pyrheliometer that participated in a WMO sanctioned IPC's (and therefore possesses a WRR reduction factor),

    An absolute cavity radiometer that has been intercompared (in a local or regional comparison) with an absolute cavity pyrheliometer meeting the requirements given in 5.2.1.1.

    A WMO First Class pyrheliometer that was calibrated by direct transfer from such an absolute cavity.

    Alternatively, the reference pyranometer may have been calibrated by direct transfer from a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) First Class pyranometer that was calibrated by the shading-disk method against an absolute cavity pyrheliometer possessing a WRR reduction factor, or by direct transfer from a WMO Standard Pyranometer (see WMO's Guide WMONo. 8 for a discussion of the classification of solar radiometers).

    Note 4—Any of the absolute radiometers participating in the above intercomparisons and being within ±0.5 % of the mean of all similar instruments compared in any of those intercomparisons, shall be considered suitable as the primary reference instrument.

    The reference ultraviolet radiometer, regardless of whether it measures total ultraviolet solar radiation, or narrow-band UV-A or UV-B radiation, or a defined narrow band segment of ultraviolet radiation, shall have been calibrated by one of the following:

    By comparison to a standard source of spectral irradiance that is traceable to NIST or to the appropriate national standards organizations of other countries (using appropriate filter correction factors),

    By comparison to the integrated spectral irradiance in the appropriate wavelength band of a spectroradiometer that has itself been calibrated against such a standard source of spectral irradiance, and

    By comparison to a spectroradiometer that has participated in a regional or national Intercomparison of Spectroradiometers, the results of which are of reference quality.

    Note 5—The calibration of reference ultraviolet radiometers using a spectroradiometer, or by direct calibration against standard sources of spectral irradiance (for example, deuterium or 1000 W tungsten-halogen lamps) is the subject of Test Method G138.

    The calibration method employed assumes that the accuracy of the values obtained are independent of time of year within the constraints imposed by the test instrument's temperature compensation (neglecting cosine errors). The method permits the determination of possible tilt effects on the sensitivity of the test instrument's light receptor.

    The principal advantage of outdoor calibration of radiometers is that all types of radiometers are related to a single reference under realistic irradiance conditions.

    The principal disadvantages of the outdoor calibration method are the time required and the fact that the natural environment is not subject to control (but the calibrations therefore include all of the instrumental characteristics of both the reference and test radiometers that are influenced simultaneously by the environment). Environmental circumstances such as ground reflectance or shading, or both, must be minimized and affect both instruments similarly.

    The reference radiometer must be of the same type as the test radiometer, since any difference in spectral sensitivity between instruments will result in erroneous calibrations. The reader is referred to ISO TR 9673 and ISO TR 9901 for discussions of the types of instruments available and their use.

    1. Scope

    1.1 The method described in this standard applies to the transfer of calibration from reference to field radiometers to be used for measuring and monitoring outdoor radiant exposure levels. This standard has been harmonized with ISO 9847.

    1.2 This test method is applicable to field radiometers regardless of the radiation receptor employed, but is limited to radiometers having approximately 180° (2π Steradian), field angles.

    1.3 The calibration covered by this test method employs the use of natural sunshine as the source.

    1.4 Calibrations of field radiometers may be performed at tilt as well as horizontal (at 0° from the horizontal to the earth). The essential requirement is that the reference radiometer shall have been calibrated at essentially the same tilt from horizontal as the tilt employed in the transfer of calibration.

    1.5 The primary reference instrument shall not be used as a field instrument and its exposure to sunlight shall be limited to calibration or intercomparisons.

    Note 1—At a laboratory where calibrations are performed regularly it is advisable to maintain a group of two or three reference radiometers that are included in every calibration. These serve as controls to detect any instability or irregularity in the standard reference instrument.

    1.6 Reference standard instruments shall be stored in a manner as to not degrade their calibration.

    1.7 The method of calibration specified for total solar pyranometers shall be traceable to the World Radiometric Reference (WRR) through the calibration methods of the reference standard instruments (Test Methods G167 and E816), and the method of calibration specified for narrow- and broad-band ultraviolet radiometers shall be traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), or other internationally recognized national standards laboratories (Test Method G138).

    1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E772 Terminology of Solar Energy Conversion

    E816 Test Method for Calibration of Pyrheliometers by Comparison to Reference Pyrheliometers

    G113 Terminology Relating to Natural and Artificial Weathering Tests of Nonmetallic Materials

    G138 Test Method for Calibration of a Spectroradiometer Using a Standard Source of Irradiance

    G167 Test Method for Calibration of a Pyranometer Using a Pyrheliometer

    Other Standard

    ISO9847 Solar Energy--Calibration of Field Pyranometers by Comparison to a Reference Pyranometer Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, http://www.ansi.org.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 27.160 (Solar energy engineering)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 60104814(Radiometer)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/E0824-10

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM E824-10, Standard Test Method for Transfer of Calibration From Reference to Field Radiometers, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2010, www.astm.org

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