, Volume 263, Issue 1-2, pp 3-24,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 20 Apr 2010

The SORCE SIM Solar Spectrum: Comparison with Recent Observations


The Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) on board the NASA SORCE satellite (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment) was launched on 25 January 2003 and has been making twice-daily measurements of solar variability in the 220 to 1630 nm range and daily measurements in the 1600 to 2400 nm range. This study presents preflight and postlaunch calibration activities of the SIM instrument and its flight spare components as well as in-flight comparisons with the ATLAS 3 composite spectrum (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science) in the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and near infrared (NIR) as well as comparisons with the SOLSTICE (Solar Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment) in the UV. In the 258 to 1350 nm range, the SIM agrees with ATLAS 3 with a fractional difference of −0.021±0.021 (k=1, estimated standard deviation) and with the additional corrections discussed herein the agreement improves to −0.008±0.021 (k=1). In the ultraviolet (220–307 nm) the agreement between all the instruments in this study is better than 5%, but fractional differences reveal other instrument- and calibration-related differences. In the 1350 to 2400 nm range the agreement between SIM and ATLAS 3 is about 8%, so these SIM data are corrected to agree with ATLAS 3 in this range.