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Installation of a European light dosimeter network


Summary: Recent calculations based on actual measurement indicate a much faster and more pronounced decline in stratospheric ozone concentration then predicted some years ago. While highly accurate physical measurements of radiation are performed all over Europe, the need for a fast, reliable network of dosimeter, measuring biological relevant radiation bands (UV-B (280nm - 315nm), UV-A (315nm - 400 mm) and Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR; 400nm - 700nm) close to the sites where the day by day work takes place became more and more apparent. In addition, the time lag between actual measurement and availability of data (months to years) make them useless for most purposes of biologists. The purpose of the ELDONET project is to solve this obvious dilemma. It is based on the assumption, that for most needs a band measurement is sufficient to analyze biological data. Data should be collected all over Europe and made available to the scientific community as fast as possible (days) via a medium which can be accessed by everyone. During the last year a dosimeter was developed, tested, calibrated against an double-monochronomator spectroradiometer and delivered to participating sites in Europe. During the initial phase and iterative steps many technical problems regarding the dosimeter were identified and solved (for details see below). The prototype of the dosimeter program was further enhanced and delivered with the instruments. All participating sites either send data via FTP directly to the central server in Pisa, Italy or by diskette to Erlangen, Germany and are subsequently transferred to Pisa. A growing interest of the non-participating scientists in the instrument as well as the data reinforces the need for such a network in Europe. Next years activities will focus on an intercalibration of the Eldonet instrument with other instruments to further enhance the accuracy of the dosimeter. In addition, underwater instruments will be tested and delivered. Feedback users will also lead to subsequent enhancements of the data logging program. A data viewing program will be delivered for an easy and intuitive analysis of radiation data. This will include an direct access to data located on the central server in Pisa. Summarizing it can be stated, that despite unexpected technical problems the current status and schedule of the project matches the proposed schedule of the ELDONET project.

Exploitable results

The new prototype has its own microprocessor for low level intelligence. The instruments are carefully designed and tested as well as calibrated. They have a rugged housing for all weather purposes (Arctic to Tropic). The software allows logging of the data and graphic presentation as well as calculations.