Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer

Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer

Finding holes in Earth's ozone

Acting like Earth’s sunscreen, atmospheric ozone absorbs the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are harmful to people and may also damage crops and aquatic ecosystems. Flying on NOAA weather satellites, SBUV/2 monitors the density and distribution of ozone in our atmosphere. 

SBUV/2 looks down at the Earth and the reflected wavelengths of ozone and calculates the total ozone between the instrument and the ground. Data also indicate the ozone’s vertical distribution. SBUV/2 helped to discover the ozone hole above Antarctica in 1987 and continues to monitor it.

What We Did

Instrument provider

We built nine SBUV/2 instruments for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and NOAA. The first was launched in 1984, and the most recent was launched in 2009.


Continues the daily global data produced by SBUV/2 but with higher fidelity


Our SBUV/2 instruments helped discover the ozone hole above Antarctica in 1987.