Home User stories The Brewer instruments of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium

The Brewer instruments of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium

03.20.2015, by Alexander Visser

The team at the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMIB)

The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMIB) is the proud owner of three Brewer spectrophotometers.

Brewer#016 (a single monochromator) is our senior instrument and was installed at Uccle in 1983. Initially it was operated manually, but in 1989 it was automated and equipped with a UV dome. This instrument provides us with a valuable long time series of total ozone column (since 1984), UV irradiance (since 1991) and Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) values (since 1984; method by Cheymol & De Backer, 2003).

In 2001, Brewer#178 (a double monochromator) was installed at our institute. It provides us with the same measurements as the older Brewer#016 but with the advantage that the UV scans cover the larger 286-363 nm range compared to the old single monochromator instrument. Since 2006, a modified sun scan routine is included in the daily schedule of Brewer#178. This routine performs sun scans between 335 and 345nm to mimic standard AOD observations at 340nm. A method has been developed to use these measurements for the retrieval of AOD values at 340nm (De Bock et al. 2010). Also, a new cloud screening method has been developed (De Bock et al. 2014).

More recently Brewer#100 was kindly put at our disposal by KNMI of the Netherlands, who previously operated the instrument. After refurbishment and adaptation to cold environments, this instrument has been measuring during the austral summer ozone, UV and AOD (AOD like Brewer 178) at the Princess Elisabeth Station in Antarctica (71.95°S, 23.35°E) since January 2011.

Besides the continuous data acquisition, most of the work at RMIB involving the Brewer instruments is focused on the analysis of the time series of ozone, UV and AOD (e.g. De Bock et al. 2014) and on the improvement of the developed algorithms to retrieve AOD.


Cheymol A. and De Backer, H., Retrieval of the aerosol optical depth in the UV-B at Uccle from Brewer ozone measurements over a long time period 1984-2002, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 108, no D24, 4800, doi:10.1029/2003JD003758, 2003.

De Bock, V., De Backer, H., Mangold, A. and Delcloo, A., Aerosol Optical Depth measurements at 340 nm with a Brewer spectrophotometer and comparison with Cimel observations at Uccle, Belgium, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 1577-1588, doi:10.5194/amt-3-1577-2010, 2010.

De Bock, V., De Backer, H., Van Malderen, R., Mangold, A. and Delcloo, A., Relations between erythemal UV dose, global solar radiation, total ozone column and aerosol optical depth at Uccle, Belgium, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 12251-12270, doi: 10.5194/acp-14-12251-2014, 2014.

Linked Brewer
Brewers 016 and 178, Brussels, Belgium

The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMIB) operates two Brewer spectrophotometers in Belgium (and Brewer #100 in at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth research station in…


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