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Optical Engineering

Fast simulation tool for ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface
Author(s): Ola Engelsen; Arve Kylling
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Paper Abstract

FastRT is a fast, yet accurate, UV simulation tool that computes downward surface UV doses, UV indices, and irradiances in the spectral range 290 to 400 nm with a resolution as small as 0.05 nm. It computes a full UV spectrum within a few milliseconds on a standard PC, and enables the user to convolve the spectrum with user-defined and built-in spectral response functions including the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) erythemal response function used for UV index calculations. The program accounts for the main radiative input parameters, i.e., instrumental characteristics, solar zenith angle, ozone column, aerosol loading, clouds, surface albedo, and surface altitude. FastRT is based on look-up tables of carefully selected entries of atmospheric transmittances and spherical albedos, and exploits the smoothness of these quantities with respect to atmospheric, surface, geometrical, and spectral parameters. An interactive site,, enables the public to run the FastRT program with most input options. This page also contains updated information about FastRT and links to freely downloadable source codes and binaries.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2005
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 44(4) 041012 doi: 10.1117/1.1885472
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 44, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Ola Engelsen, NILU (Norway)
Arve Kylling, Norwegian Institute for Air Research (Norway)

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