The measurement of solar ultraviolet radiation

Mutat Res. 1998 Nov 9;422(1):7-14. doi: 10.1016/s0027-5107(98)00180-8.


High skin cancer rates, stratospheric ozone depletion and increased public interest and concern have resulted in a strong demand for solar ultraviolet radiation measurements and information. The Australian Radiation Laboratory (ARL) has been involved since the mid-1980s in the measurement of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) using spectroradiometers (SRM) and a network of broadband detectors at 18 sites in Australia and Antarctica and in Singapore through a collaborative agreement with the Singapore Institute of Science and Forensic Medicine. Measurement locations range from equatorial (Singapore, 1.3 degrees N) through tropical (Darwin, 12.4 degrees S) to polar (Mawson, 67.6 degrees S) and as a result there are many difficulties associated with maintenance and calibration of the network detectors, and transfer of data to ensure an accurate and reliable data collection. Calibration procedures for the various detectors involve the comparison with simultaneous spectral measurements using a portable SRM incorporating a double monochromator, calibrated against traceable standard lamps. Laboratory measurements of cosine response and responsivity are also made. Detectors are intercompared at the Yallambie site for a number of months before installation at another location. As an additional check on the calibrations, computer models of solar UVR at the earth's surface for days with clear sky and known ozone are compared with the UV radiometer measurements.

MeSH terms

  • Antarctic Regions
  • Australia
  • Calibration
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Singapore
  • Sunlight* / adverse effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays* / adverse effects