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Measurement of the Total Ozone Column

Measurement of the Total Ozone Column from Direct Solar Irradiance

App. 018

Ground level solar irradiance is dependent on various atmospheric parameters such as cloud cover, total ozone and aerosol content. Most of the atmosphere’s ozone is contained in the stratosphere, providing essential protection from the Sun’s harmful UV radiation. Ground-based spectroradiometer measurements of direct solar UV irradiance can be used to determine the Total Ozone Column, TOC [1]. This requires a spectroradiometer capable of tracking the solar zenith angle and measuring spectral irradiance within a narrow field of view. TOC can be determined by applying the Beer-Lambert law in conjunction with the known absorption characteristics of ozone over the 290-350nm wavelength range. Suitable modelling is required to minimise the influences of the other atmospheric attenuators [2].

Read More here: UV array spectroradiometer to measure the thickness of the ozone layer of the Earth's atmosphere

The compact BTS2048-UV-S-WP weatherproof UV spectroradiometer is ideally suited for use on sun-trackers to perform direct solar irradiance measurements. During an international inter-comparison [3] of total ozone measurements the instrument was verified with measurements of direct solar irradiance and subsequent TOC evaluations showing deviations of less than 1.5% to most other reference instruments.


[1] M. Huber et al., “Total atmospheric ozone determined from spectral measurements of direct UV irradiance,” Geophys. Res. Lett.22, 1995.

[2] A. Vaskuri et al., “Monte Carlo method for determining uncertainty of total ozone derived from direct solar irradiance spectra: Application to Izaña results” 

[3] R. Zuber et al., “Adaption of an array spectroradiometer for total ozone column retrieval using direct solar irradiance measurements in the UV spectral range”, Atmos. Meas. Tech 2017

[4] R. Zuber et al., “Total ozone column intercomparison of Brewers, Dobsons, and BTS-Solar at Hohenpeißenberg and Davos in 2019/2020”, Atmos. Meas. Tech 2021