Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 4, 89–98, 2015
Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 4, 89–98, 2015

Research article 08 May 2015

Research article | 08 May 2015

A high dynamic radiation measurement instrument: the Bolometric Oscillation Sensor (BOS)

P. Zhu1, M. van Ruymbeke1, Ö. Karatekin1, J.-P. Noël1, G. Thuillier3, S. Dewitte2, A. Chevalier2, C. Conscience2, E. Janssen2, M. Meftah3, and A. Irbah3 P. Zhu et al.
  • 1Royal Observatory of Belgium, Av. Circulaire 3, B1180 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • 2Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Av. Circulaire 3, B1180 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • 3LATMOS, 4 place Jussieu 75252 Paris CEDEX 05, France

Abstract. The Bolometric Oscillation Sensor (BOS) is a broadband radiation measurement instrument onboard the PICARD satellite that was active between 2010 and 2014. The main detector is a thermistor attached black coated surface, which was permanently exposed to space without any optical and aperture accessories. The temperature measurements are used within a transfer function to determine variations in incoming solar irradiance as well as the terrestrial radiation. In the present article, the measurement principle of the BOS and its transfer function are presented. The performance of the instrument is discussed based on laboratory experiments and space observations from the PICARD satellite. The comparison of the short-term variation of total solar irradiance (TSI) with absolute radiometers such as VIRGO/SOHO and TIM/SORCE over the same period of time suggests that the BOS is a relatively much simpler but very effective sensor for monitoring electromagnetic radiation variations from visible to infrared wavelengths.

Short summary
The PICARD Bolometric Oscillation Sensor experiment was the first experiment to simultaneously measure the solar and terrestrial radiation with a single detector. It is a powerful tool for exploring thermal properties of a planetary body. The sensor has high repeatability due to its simplified design. Thus, it has the potential to payload on several microsatellites or even CubeSats and form a consultation array to track small energy exchange of the planet.