Solar UV irradiance is measured in Westerland, Germany (54.9 degree(s) N, 8.3 degree(s) E) in the immediate vicinity of the North Sea shoreline. Measurements have been done since July 1993, focussing on the biologically effective UV radiation and the human body geometry. A grid double monochromator radiometer (DM 150, Bentham Instruments Comp., Reading, England) is used to measure the spectral resolution of 1 nm. Weighting the spectral irradiance by the action spectrum for the erythema is more appropriate for determining the biological effectiveness than simply dividing the UV radiation into the UV-A and UV-B wavebands.
The erythemal irradiance shows a close relation to the sun angle during the course of a day. The exposure times, calculated from the irradiance and the minimal erythemal doses, suggest that people might underestimate the risk of getting sunburnt before noon. Diffuse radiation scattered from the sky contribute about 70% of the erythemal irradiance at a 45 degree(s) sun angle.
A receiver oriented directly to the sun, i.e. 45 degree(s) inclined, receives an additional 30% of the erythemal irradiance measured by a horizontally adjusted cosine response sensor. The relative irradiance of curved surfaces like the skin is determined by UV- B-sensitive paper placed around a cylinder. This device detected UV radiation reflected by the sea, which hardly is measured by horizontally adjusted receivers.
Stick, C., Harms, V. and Pielke, L., 1994, July. Measurements of solar ultraviolet irradiance with respect to the human body surface. In Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series (Vol. 2134, pp. 129-134).
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