Evaluating UVA aerosol optical depth using a Smartphone camera

Igoe, Damien P. and Parisi, Alfio V. and Carter, Brad (2013) Evaluating UVA aerosol optical depth using a Smartphone camera. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 89 (5). pp. 1244-1248. ISSN 0031-8655


This research evaluates a smartphone complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor's ability to detect and quantify incident solar UVA radiation and subsequently, aerosol optical depth at 340 and 380 nm. Earlier studies revealed that the consumer grade CMOS sensor has inherent UVA sensitivities, despite attenuating effects of the lens. Narrow bandpass and neutral density filters were used to protect the image sensor and to not allow saturation of the solar images produced. Observations were made on clear days, free from clouds. The results of this research demonstrate that there is a definable response to changing solar irradiance and aerosol optical depth can be measured within 5% and 10% error margins at 380 and 340 nm respectively. The greater relative error occurs at lower wavelengths (340 nm) due to increased atmospheric scattering effects, particularly at higher air masses and due to lower signal to noise ratio in the image sensor. The relative error for solar irradiance was under 1% for observations made at 380 nm. The results indicate that the smartphone image sensor, with additional external narrow bandpass and neutral density filters can be used as a field sensor to evaluate solar UVA irradiance and aerosol optical depth.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 The American Society of Photobiology. Published online 20 May 2013. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2013 00:28
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2014 01:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: sensors; smart phones; UVA; camera lens
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090605 Photodetectors, Optical Sensors and Solar Cells
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040101 Atmospheric Aerosols
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040103 Atmospheric Radiation
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/php.12082
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23820

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