A sun photometer was installed at the Sevilleta Field Station in 1994.It is part of a network of such instruments deployed around the world within a program called AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork established by NASA to obtain a measure of atmospheric aerosols around the globe. Individual photometer units are designed to view the sun and sky at preprogrammed intervals throughout the day for the measurement of aerosol optical thickness, water vapor amounts, ozone levels, particle size distribution, aerosol scattering, phase function, and single scattering albedo. These measurements can also be used to radiometrically correct satellite imagery. The unit consists of A) the photometer, B) a robot for directing the photometer at the sun, C) a CIMEL datalogger which directs the data collection and storage, D) a DCP (Data Collection Platform) which controls hourly data transmission to the GOES satellite and E) an antenna for facilitating this DCP to satellite link. Solar measurements are made at 1021, 871, 669, 498, 437, 379, and 339 nm. The Sevilleta LTER is responsible for maintenance of the unit on site while NASA takes care of data processing and and storage and annual re-calibration of the unit. Data can be obtained from NASA via:


Other Identifier


Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier


Document Type



This dataset was originally published on the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Data Portal,, and potentially via other repositories or portals as described. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the source data package is doi:10.6073/pasta/3e38f35dbe4456bc274f64ee9bccc398, and may be accessed at Metadata and files included in this record mirror as closely as possible the source data and documentation, with the provenance metadata and quality report generated by the LTER portal reproduced here as '*-provenance.xml' and *-report.html' files, respectively.


Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (


Temporal coverage

1994-01-01 - 2011-12-08

Spatial coverage

The UNM Field Station and USF&WS Headquarters are the primary support facilities for all research conducted on the Sevilleta NWR. As such the area has also been important as a research site - especially as regards meteorology and monitoring of rodent populations for Hantavirus. While the breaks above and behind are characterized as black grama dominated desert grassland, the immediate area around the Field Station is best described as an ecotonal mixture of Plains-Mesa Sand Scrub and Great Basin Scrub vegetaion greatly influenced by honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and the drainages which bisect the area at regular intervals and support many one-seed Junipers (Juniperus monosperma). Dominant grasses include 4 species of dropseed (Sporobolis contractus, S. cryptandrus, S. flexuosus & S. airoides) and indian rice grass (Oryzopsis hymenoides)



Permanent URL

knb-lter-sev.76.65310-metadata.html (41 kB)
Show full metadata

knb-lter-sev.76.65310-provenance.xml (3 kB)
Show provenance metadata

knb-lter-sev.76.65310-report.html (26 kB)
Show original LTER Network Data Portal ingest report

sev76_sunphotometry_20140107.csv (1 kB)
Data in CSV format


Article Location