The Clear Sky Calculator (www.clearskycalculator.com) can be used to determine the need for quantum sensor recalibration. It determines PPFD incident on a horizontal surface at any time of day at any location in the world. It is most accurate when used near solar noon in spring and summer months, where accuracy over multiple clear and unpolluted days is estimated to be ±4% in all climates and locations around the world. For best accuracy, the sky must be completely clear, as reflected radiation from clouds causes incoming radiation to increase above the value predicted by the clear sky calculator. Measured values of PPFD can exceed values predicted by the Clear Sky Calculator due to reflection from the sides and edges of clouds. This reflection increases the incoming radiation. The influence of high clouds typically shows up as spikes above clear sky values, not a constant offset greater than clear sky values.
To determine recalibration need, input site conditions into the calculator and compare PPFD measurements to calculated PPFD values for a clear sky. If sensor PPFD measurements over multiple days near solar noon are consistently different than calculated values (by more than 6%), the sensor should be cleaned and re-leveled. If PPFD measurements are still different after a second test, contact Campbell Scientific for an RMA to get the sensor recalibrated.