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Environmental Measurements

Biospherical Instruments has long been involved in activities beyond simply building environmental instrumentation, and frequently this carries over to the underlying scientific research and environmental monitoring. The numerous scientific publications by our staff attests to this involvement. Our involvement has ranged from going on cruises for the first deployments of new instrumentation (such as the BIOWATT program), to working with municipalities on novel drinking water monitoring systems (for over 20 years), to deploying and operating international programs for monitoring UV irradiance in polar regions lasting over 20 years. As an example of the scope of such monitoring programs, Table 1 shows the outline of this UV monitoring network.

General Quality Assurance and Quality Control Program

The QA/QC program of the NSF UV Spectroradiometer Network includes the following elements:

  • Uniformity of instruments in the network
  • Standardized procedures, parts, supplies, and operator training
  • Standardized data processing procedures including calibration review and implementation of correction methods
  • Maintenance of a set of calibration standards that are traceable to national standards laboratories, and their regular recalibration
  • Scheduled instrument maintenance
  • Careful review of recorded data and application of corrections
  • Publication of instrument operating history
  • Participation in instrument intercomparisons
  • Data analysis and publication by independent scientists
  • Publication in refereed journals
  • All site operators are trained at BSI's San Diego facility, and documented operating procedures are used. Instrument maintenance is performed during annual site visits. A more detailed list of the QA/QC activities is presented in Table 1.

    Table 1. Frequency of data acquision, quality control/assurance, and publication.

    Every 5 Minutes Bi-weekly                                                       
          Temperatures and power checks       System calibration with site standards
          Monochromator position check
          Ancillary sensors measurements Monthly
          Detection of system errors by software       Analysis of calibration and standards stability
    Daily Yearly
          Responsivity determination       Operator training at San Diego
          Wavelength alignment charaterization       Site visits including:
          Checks by the site operators              Scheduled maintenance
          Onsite preliminary UV-B calculations              Operation audit (testing)
                   Standards comparison
    Weekly              Engineering upgrades
          Data transfers       Reprocessing of all calibrations and data
          Data archive checks       Final data check
          System performance reviews       Report and CD-ROM generation
          Preliminary database updates
          System parameter time series and irradiance Additional Actiivities
                 value checks       Participation in intercomparisons
          Website updates       Comparisons with radiative transfer models
          Re-evaluation and testing of methods
    Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:41