In 1987, responding to serious ozone depletion reported in Antarctica, the Division of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation called for the establishment of an ultraviolet (UV) monitoring system in Antarctica. Biospherical Instruments Inc. (BSI) was selected to install a network of instruments, which has become known as the NSF Office of Polar Programs Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitoring Network (UVSIMN).
The virtual "home" and data archive of this UV Monitoring Network is the website
The network is providing data to researchers studying the effects of ozone depletion on terrestrial and marine biological systems. Network data is also used for the validation of satellite observations and for the verification of models describing the transfer of radiation through the atmosphere.
BSI has been responsible for overseeing the network's operation, data processing, quality control, and dissemination of data since 1988. Network locations include the South Pole; two research stations at the Antarctic coast (McMurdo and Palmer); the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America; the Arctic village of Barrow; and Summit, a research camp established at the top of Greenland’s ice sheet. An additional instrument is located at our company’s headquarters in San Diego. The network has produced one of the longest Climate Data Records of UV radiation in existence.
In 2009, the network was split into Northern and Southern hemisphere components. The network sites at Barrow and Summit became part of NSF's Arctic Observing Network (www.aoncadis.org). BSI continues to be responsible for the operation of these two sites. In 2010, NOAA's Global Monitoring Division took over the helm from the NSF to oversee operation of the instruments at the South Pole, McMurdo Station, and Palmer Station. BSI continues to prepare and quality-control the data of the three sites.