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The Solar Spectrum: an Atmospheric Remote Sensing Perspective

The solar spectrum not only contains information about the composition and structure of the sun, it also provides a bright and stable continuum source for earth remote sensing (atmosphere and surface). Many types of remote sensors use solar radiation. While high-resolution spaceborne sensors (e.g. ACE) can largely remove the effects of the solar spectrum by exo-atmospheric calibration, this isn't an option for sub-orbital sensors, such as the FTIR spectrometers used in the NDACC and TCCON networks. In this case the solar contribution must be explicitly included in the spectral analysis. In this talk the methods used to derive the solar spectrum are presented, and the underlying solar physics are discussed. Implication for remote sensing are described.