Swiss Research Institute for High Altitude Climate and Medicine
At the request of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Federal Council decided in 1970 to finance a calibration center for radiation measurement as Switzerland’s contribution to the World Weather Monitoring Program of the WMO. Following this decision, the PMOD was commissioned to establish and operate the World Radiation Center (WRC)
The World Radiation Center maintains the primary standard for solar irradiance consisting of a group of high-precision absolute radiometers. In response to further inquiries from the WMO, a calibration center for atmospheric longwave radiation measuring instruments was established in 2004, and in 2008 the calibration center for spectral radiance measurements to determine atmospheric turbidity. Since 2013, the European UV calibration center has also been operated by the World Radiation Center.
The PMOD/WRC develops and builds radiometers that are among the most accurate of their kind in the world and are used both on the ground and in space. These instruments are also available for purchase and have long been used by Meteorological Services worldwide. In addition, a global network of atmospheric turbidity monitoring stations is equipped with precision filter radiometers developed by PMOD/WRC.
Data collected in space and by means of ground measurements are analyzed in research projects on climate change and solar physics. This research activity is integrated into national (in particular with ETH Zurich) and international projects.
Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mathematics
Engineering and Energy
Radiation instruments can be divided into four different categories: Shortwave radiometers, longwave radiometers, spectral radiometers and ultra-violet radiometers. Several products are also available for sale.
The PMOD/WRC has conducted research for several decades in the fields of solar physics and solar irradiance monitoring, amongst others. Various datasets are described and made available for further scientific research, including: Satellite data, Solar Spectrum data, etc.
Calibration of radiometers at the PMOD/WRC is performed on the roof platform or in our laboratories.
Wide-ranging experience in the measurement of solar radiation relies on the development of PMOD/WRC instruments, in which the PMOD/WRC has a long history. Various instruments are of interest to partner institutions mainly in the meteorology and metrology communities. Instruments such as the Absolute Radiometer PMO6-cc or the Precision Filter Radiometer (PFR) are well-known and are in operation throughout the whole world, while the Precision Spectroradiometer (PSR) is latest development at PMOD/WRC. Due to the available infrastructure, PMOD/WRC is able to develop, design and manufacture instruments in-house, although not in large quantities. The focus is on providing reliable instruments with high accuracy and long-term stability. Together with the PMOD/WRC calibration capabilities, PMOD/WRC instruments allow high quality and traceable radiation measurements. In addition, PMOD/WRC offers several useful accessories to operate its own or third-party instruments.