Radiation monitoring network

Long-term monitoring of the solar and thermal infrared radiation fluxes between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface is an important component in the monitoring of climate change. MeteoSwiss operates the SACRaM (Swiss Alpine Climate Radiation Monitoring) network. At its stations, surface radiation is monitored, ranging from the ultraviolet to the visible and infrared range of the spectrum.

The SACRaM (Swiss Alpine Climate Radiation Monitoring) network was initiated with the objective of ensuring long-term radiation monitoring for climate science research. The SACRaM network comprises four stations: Two are located in the Swiss Alps (at the Jungfraujoch and in Davos), while the other two are situated at lower altitudes in Payerne and Locarno-Monti. The station in Payerne is also part of the international Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN), the global baseline monitoring network for monitoring radiation fluxes at the Earth's surface.

State-of-the art technology for high accuracy measurements

Photography of the SACRaM station showing an astronomical cupola protecting radiation instruments on top of the Sphinx building at Jungfraujoch. A 3-meter tall measurement bench is on the right of the picture supporting radiometers measuring UV, global solar and thermal infrared irradiance.
Les instruments de la station du réseau de mesure du rayonnement au Jungfraujoch (à 3580 m d'altitude) sont soumis à de rudes conditions météorologiques. Les instruments mesurant le rayonnement solaire global et le rayonnement atmosphérique sont installés sur une structure externe (à droite sur l'image). Ils sont équipés de systèmes de ventilation et de chauffage mis au point par MétéoSuisse. Les instruments mesurant le rayonnement direct sur des poursuites solaires sont protégés par une coupole (au centre de l'image) qui s'ouvre dès que les conditions le permettent. © MétéoSuisse
(Image: MeteoSwiss)

The SACRaM network follows the GAW and BSRN guidelines and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to guarantee high accuracy measurements of the radiation fluxes within three broadband ranges of the spectrum: ultraviolet, shortwave (solar) and longwave (atmospheric infrared thermal) radiation. The following parameters are measured:

  • Direct and global irradiance for UV and visible wavelengths
  • Diffuse irradiance for UV and visible wavelengths (at certain stations)
  • Reflected visible radiation (in Payerne)
  • Downward thermal infrared irradiance
  • Upward thermal infrared radiation (in Payerne)
  • Direct spectral irradiance for selected wavelengths

Further information