Pioneer Venus Sounder Probe Solar Flux Radiometer

M. G. Tomasko, L. R. Doose, J. M. Palmer, A. Holmes, W. L. Wolfe, A. G. Debell, L. G. Brod, R. R. Sholes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Solar Flux Radiometer aboard the Pioneer Venus Sounder Probe operated successfully during its descent through the atmosphere of Venus. The instrument measured atmospheric radiance over the spectral range from 400 to 1800 run as a function of altitude. Elevation and azimuthal measurements on the radiation field were made with five optical channels. Twelve filtered Si and Ge photovoltaic detectors were maintained near 30°C with a phase-change material. The detector output currents were processed with logarithmic transimpedance converters and digitized with an 11-bit A/D converter. Atmospheric sampling in both elevation and azimuth was done according to a Gaussian integration scheme. The serial output data averaged 20 b/s, included housekeeping (sync, spin period, sample timing and mode). The data were used to determine the deposition of solar energy in the atmosphere of Venus between 67 km and the surface along with upward and downward fluxes and radiances with an altitude resolution of several hundred meters. The results allow for more accurate modelling of the radiation balance of the atmosphere than previously possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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