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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 4
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 1553–1567, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-1553-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 1553–1567, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-1553-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 08 Apr 2016

Research article | 08 Apr 2016

Quality assessment of solar UV irradiance measured with array spectroradiometers

Luca Egli1, Julian Gröbner1, Gregor Hülsen1, Luciano Bachmann2, Mario Blumthaler3, Jimmy Dubard4, Marina Khazova5, Richard Kift6, Kees Hoogendijk7, Antonio Serrano8, Andrew Smedley6, and José-Manuel Vilaplana9 Luca Egli et al.
  • 1Physikalisch Meteorologisches Observatorium and World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC), Davos, Switzerland
  • 2Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 3Medical University Innsbruck, Biomedical Physics, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 4Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais LNE, Paris, France
  • 5Public Health England, Chilton, UK
  • 6School of Earth Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 7EKO INSTRUMENTS Europe B.V., Delft, the Netherlands
  • 8Department of Physics, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain
  • 9Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial – INTA, El Arenosillo, Spain

Abstract. The reliable quantification of ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the earth's surface requires accurate measurements of spectral global solar UV irradiance in order to determine the UV exposure to human skin and to understand long-term trends in this parameter. Array spectroradiometers (ASRMs) are small, light, robust and cost-effective instruments, and are increasingly used for spectral irradiance measurements. Within the European EMRP ENV03 project “Solar UV”, new devices, guidelines and characterization methods have been developed to improve solar UV measurements with ASRMs, and support to the end user community has been provided. In order to assess the quality of 14 end user ASRMs, a solar UV intercomparison was held on the measurement platform of the World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC) in Davos, Switzerland, from 10 to 17 July 2014. The results of the blind intercomparison revealed that ASRMs, currently used for solar UV measurements, show a large variation in the quality of their solar UV measurements. Most of the instruments overestimate the erythema-weighted UV index – in particular at large solar zenith angles – due to stray light contribution in the UV-B range. The spectral analysis of global solar UV irradiance further supported the finding that the uncertainties in the UV-B range are very large due to stray light contribution in this wavelength range. In summary, the UV index may be detected by some commercially available ASRMs within 5 % compared to the world reference spectroradiometer, if well characterized and calibrated, but only for a limited range of solar zenith angles. Generally, the tested instruments are not yet suitable for solar UV measurements for the entire range between 290 and 400 nm under all atmospheric conditions.

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Array spectroradiometers are small, light, robust and cost-effective instruments, and are increasingly used for atmospheric measurements. The quality of array spectroradiometers is assessed for the reliable quantification of ultraviolet radiation (UV) in order to monitor the exposure of UV radiation to human health. The study shows that reliable UV measurements with these instruments are limited for observations around noon and show large biases in the morning and evening.
Array spectroradiometers are small, light, robust and cost-effective instruments, and are...
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