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Communication

Verification of Angular Response of Sky Quality Meter with Quasi-Punctual Light Sources

1
CISAS—Center for Studies and Activities for Space “Giuseppe Colombo”, University of Padova, Via Venezia 15, 35131 Padova, Italy
2
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, Via Venezia 1, 35131 Padova, Italy
3
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
4
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco De Leonardis
Sensors 2021, 21(22), 7544; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21227544
Received: 12 October 2021 / Revised: 3 November 2021 / Accepted: 9 November 2021 / Published: 13 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors Based on Optical and Photonic Devices)
Sky Quality Meter (SQM) is a commercial instrument based on photometers widely used by amateur astronomers for skyglow measurement from the ground. In the framework of the MINLU project, two SQM-LE units were integrated in an autonomous sensor suite realized and tested at University of Padova for monitoring light pollution from drones or sounding balloons. During the ground tests campaign before airborne measurement, the performance of both SQM units was verified in laboratory using controlled light sources as a reference input; the results showed that both units presented an angular response deviating consistently from the expected performance and that the sensors’ field of view was larger than the one declared in the manufacturer’s datasheet. This aspect in particular would affect direct skyglow measurements during flight as light sources close to the boundaries of the field of view would not be attenuated but instead detected by the sensors. As a direct consequence, the measurement of low-intensity skyglows at stratospheric altitudes could be affected by high-intensity punctual sources acting as lateral disturbances. A dedicated test campaign was therefore conceived and realized to investigate SQM unit response to light sources in the field of view and identify the true angular response curve; the setup consisted in a controlled rotatory stage moving the unit in front of a fixed diffusive light source. Different test conditions were used to validate the experimental procedure, demonstrating the repeatability of the measurements. This paper presents the experimental campaign and the resulting SQM angular response curve; results indicate for both SQMs a larger than expected field of view and the presence of a double peak in the angular response, which is likely related to a non-perfect alignment of SQMs collimation optics. Furthermore, the wider resulting curves suggest that the contribution of lateral sources is more prominent with respect to the response predicted by the manufacturer. For this reason, the utilization of baffles to restrict SQMs field of view is analyzed to minimize the disturbance of lateral light sources and two different geometries are presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: sky quality meter; light pollution; sky brightness sky quality meter; light pollution; sky brightness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bartolomei, M.; Olivieri, L.; Bettanini, C.; Cavazzani, S.; Fiorentin, P. Verification of Angular Response of Sky Quality Meter with Quasi-Punctual Light Sources. Sensors 2021, 21, 7544. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21227544

AMA Style

Bartolomei M, Olivieri L, Bettanini C, Cavazzani S, Fiorentin P. Verification of Angular Response of Sky Quality Meter with Quasi-Punctual Light Sources. Sensors. 2021; 21(22):7544. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21227544

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bartolomei, Mirco, Lorenzo Olivieri, Carlo Bettanini, Stefano Cavazzani, and Pietro Fiorentin. 2021. "Verification of Angular Response of Sky Quality Meter with Quasi-Punctual Light Sources" Sensors 21, no. 22: 7544. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21227544

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