Detection of ultraviolet B radiation with internal smartphone sensors.

11 November 2017


Smartphones have the potential to monitor ultraviolet radiation within the terrestrial solar spectrum. Additionally, the ability to accurately estimate personal ultraviolet exposure using a smartphone may one day allow an individual control of their ultraviolet exposure. Previous studies have demonstrated the detection of ultraviolet A from 320 to 400 nm with a smartphone. However, the measurement of ultraviolet B from 280 to 320 nm is desirable to monitor biological effects such as erythema. No previous reports have been reported for the detection of ultraviolet B detection with a smartphone camera.

This study characterized the ultraviolet B response of smartphone cameras and shows that these devices detect this radiation without additional hardware. Three smartphones were tested in the ultraviolet B waveband for dark response, temperature response, irradiance response, and spectral response. The used protocols adhered to international standards where applicable. All characterized smartphones were sensitive to ultraviolet B radiation; however, each type provides a unique response.


Turner, J., Parisi, A.V., Igoe, D.P. and Amar, A., 2017. Detection of ultraviolet B radiation with internal smartphone sensors. Instrumentation Science & Technology, 45(6), pp.618-638.

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