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Centre for Atmospheric Science


GUV-541 radiometer. Manchester UV monitoring.
GUV-541 radiometer. Manchester UV monitoring.

Our focus is on solar radiation, particularly the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, reaching targets at or near the earth's surface, be they cells in the body or molecules in the air. The group has a strong experimental base and runs two monitoring sites for UV radiation and column ozone, in addition to participating in targeted field campaigns. Radiative transfer theory is combined with practical work to better understand our radiation environment and its impacts and feedbacks on biological systems and other aspects of the environment, for example atmospheric chemistry.
The group has a well-equipped laboratory for the development, characterisation and calibration of radiometers and spectroradiometers, and a solar simulator for laboratory investigations eg the transmittance of cloth or sunscreens.

Preparing for measurements during a solar eclipse.
Preparing for measurements during a solar eclipse.

We run two monitoring stations for ultraviolet radiation and ozone, using Brewer spectrophotometers, spectroradiometers, multiband and broadband instruments. The rooftop site in central Manchester also serves as a development platform, while that at Reading University is a DEFRA funded site for long-term monitoring. The latter is located on the meteorological site in the campus parkland, also a UKMO climate station. Data is submitted to the European UV database, the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Data Centre of WMO and netcen.

The group also participates in national and international field campaigns, both ground based and airborne. Our smaller diode array instruments, with a selection of input optics, can be mounted either in our own light aircraft or on other suitable platforms. Recent campaigns include SCOUT-O3 (ground-based and airborne) and INSPECTRO (ground-based and airborne), and measurements of the March 2006 eclipse from the Greek island of Kastelorizo.

We are currently collaborating with the medical school to investigate the contribution of UV radiation to the vitamin D status of the Manchester population.

Manchester Cessna

Manchester Cessna.