You are here:   HomeUV Monitoring Network

UV Monitoring Network

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 has been 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 northern network sites at Barrow and Summit became part of NSF's Arctic Observing Network ( Supported by NSF Grants  ARC-0856268 and ARC-1203250, BSI continued operation of these two site until 2016 (Barrow) and 2017 (Summit). Unfortunately, we were not successful in obtaining funds for continuing UV measurements at the two sites beyond 2017, and the instruments had to be removed.

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, and the three sites were integrated in NOAA's Antarctic UV Monitoring Network. However, BSI continues to prepare and quality-control all data of the three sites, and submits these data to NOAA for dissemination.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 November 2017 08:45