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CIE 220:2016 – Characterization and Calibration Method of UV Radiometers

Anton Gugg-Helminger

Gigahertz-Optik GmbH, Germany
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Figure 1. Reference spectra defined in CIE 220 in the range 200-1,100 nm. The red curve denotes relative spectrum of a D2 lamp, the blue curve is a black body radiator at T=6,500 K and the green curve is unity irradiance.


Figure 2. Reference spectra of Figure 1 in the wavelength range 200-400 nm. Colors are as in Figure 1.


Figure 3. Ten different spectral distributions of real sources defined in UV News [2]. The indices are as follows: Index 1 – xenon long arc lamp; Index 2 – HMI lamp; Index 3 – UV-A tanning lamp; Index 4 – dermatological UV-B lamp; Index 5 – low pressure Hg lamp; Index 6 – medium pressure Hg lamp; Index 7 – Sun 5 July 1997 Thessaloniki 18° SZA; Index 8 – 30 W deuterium lamp; Index 9 – tungsten halogen lamp; Index 10 – iron high pressure lamp.


Figure 4. The blue curve denotes DIN EN 62471:2009-02 200-320 nm, the red curve denotes DIN EN 62471:2009-02 320-400 nm and the green curve is the relative spectral responsivity of a real detector device UV-A, SN 16346.


Table 1. Spectral mismatch factors for a UVA meter used as an ICNIRP-weighted radiometer, with reference spectra of CIE 220.


Table 2. Spectral mismatch factors for a UVA meter used as an ICNIRP-weighted radiometer, with reference spectra of UV News.


Figure 5. UV-B-radiometer actinic curve (blue line) and the transmittance of long pass filter WG320 (red curve).


Figure 6. UV-B-radiometer actinic curve (blue line), and possible long pass filter curves of WG320: 50 percent at 314 nm (green line) and 50 percent at 326 nm (purple line).

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Editor’s note: This article has been reprinted from UV News, Issue 12 (March 2017), p.36ff, with the permission of Aalto University.


This article gives a short overview of the history of the document CIE 220:2016 Characterization and Calibration Method of UV Radiometers (CIE, 2016) and its most important content. In particular, the subject of spectral mismatch is covered. The technical document CIE 220 prepared by CIE Technical Committee TC2-47 describes quality indices for UV radiometers, which enable manufacturers and users to characterize instruments on a common basis. To harmonize CIE documents, the quality indices described in this document relate to the quality indices described in Joint ISO/CIE International Standard ISO/CIE 19476:2014(E) (formerly CIE S 023/E:2013).

All these considerations are important for the calibration and the use of UV radiometers. If every manufacturer would give the values mentioned in the CIE 220, the user will be able to correct his measurements and therefore obtain much better values comparable to UV radiometers from different manufacturers.

History and success of the document

The starting point of the CIE 220 was 18 years ago. A working group pursuing the work was established in the first workshop of the “Thematic Network for Ultraviolet Measurements” in Espoo, March 2 and 3, 1998. The network was funded by the Standards, Measurements and Testing program of the Commission of the European Communities, as project number SMT4-CT97-7510.

Within the Working Group 1 “Guidance for UV power meter classification for particular applications,” chaired by Anton Gugg-Helminger, the document “Characterizing the Performance of Integral Measuring UV-Meters” was prepared. It was published in UV News in November 2000. [2]

This publication was taken over to the CIE within the technical committee TC2-47 with chair Gan Xu in 2001. The new title was “Methods of Characterization and Calibration of Broad Band UV Radiometers.” In 2006, Armin Sperling became the new chair and finished this long process in 2016 with “Characterization and Calibration Methods of UV Radiometers.”

From the initial idea through to the finished document, it has taken 18 years of work all around the world. The published document provides helpful guidance on the characterization of UV radiometers.

To harmonize CIE documents, the quality indices described in CIE 220 relate to the quality indices described in Joint ISO/CIE International Standard ISO/CIE 19476:2014(E) (formerly CIE S 023/E:2013), and references are made to those where applicable.

Unlike photometers, the subject of ISO/CIE 19476:2014(E), UV radiometers may be designed for various actinic spectra and different spectral ranges. Therefore, instead of only one defined spectral reference source (CIE Source A) used in ISO/CIE 19476:2014(E) three reference spectra as shown in Figures 1 and 2 are proposed in CIE 220 to support the generic spectral characterization of UV radiometers for various applications.

Spectral mismatch evaluation

Spectral mismatch is a major uncertainty source, maybe the largest one, hence one of the most important characterization parameters of a UV radiometer.

After the first publication in 2000, Gigahertz-Optik GmbH started to measure the relative spectral responsivity of each broadband UV radiometer that was delivered, and it is possibly still the only manufacturer doing so. With this knowledge, every customer is able to calculate the spectral mismatch a(Z) value. The application of this a(Z) value is a key parameter for precise measurements. It allows correction of the measured value, corresponding to the calibration source and not to the actual source measured. In CIE 220, the a(Z) value is called the spectral mismatch.

The spectral mismatch is defined as the ratio of the effective responsivity of the meter head with respect to the radiant quantity of the test source sact,Z, to the effective responsivity with respect to the reference source sact,R as

where X λ,R,rel(λ), Xλ,Z,rel(λ) are the relative spectral distributions of the reference-spectrum source R and that of source Z, respectively.

The reciprocal of this spectral mismatch is called the spectral mismatch correction factor

This factor can be used to correct measurement results as

where YR is the corrected value with respect to the reference spectrum source R, and YZ is the uncorrected reading of the radiometer when measuring source Z.

If the quality of a broadband UV radiometer has to be evaluated without knowing the exact spectral power distribution of the measured source, within the CIE 220 three reference spectra are given. With these three reference spectra, the user can evaluate the quality of a broadband UV radiometer with respect to these reference light sources.

Hence, the user is at least able to compare the UV radiometer to other meters even if the spectral distribution of the source being measured is not known. The reference spectra have been defined for a wide range from 200 nm to 1,100 nm, due to the long wavelength response of commonly used silicon detectors.

For situations where the three defined spectra are not sufficient for the evaluation of the spectral mismatch of a UV radiometer, 10 further sources are given in UV News [2]. These spectra are illustrated in Figure 3.

Note: The spectral distributions of Figure 3 are not specified as reference spectra in CIE 220 or any other official CIE documents.

However, as a “golden rule,” one can say the closer the spectral mismatch correction factors are to 1 for different reference spectra, the better the broadband UV radiometer can measure sources of unknown spectral power distributions.

Example evaluation for a UVA radiometer

In the following, an example of a UVA radiometer is given. The radiometer has been designed for the ICNIRP [3], former ACGIH [4], weighting function as shown in Figure 4.

The UVA radiometer corrections are evaluated with the reference spectra of CIE 200 and UV News.

The evaluated UVA radiometer matches quite well with the three reference spectra of CIE 220 as seen in Table 1. The spectral mismatch factors are within 1.5 percent even without applying spectral mismatch correction factors.

Table 2 lists spectral mismatch factors of the same detector, evaluated for the 10 sources defined in UV News. These results show a wider range of spectral mismatch correction values and thus by not applying them a larger residual error.

Depending on the application, this detector might be sufficient for at least seven or eight of the sources. However, for at least two sources the mismatch factor is large, and a correction is highly recommended.

By analyzing the data in more detail, we can see the Hg lamp shows no or very little emittance in the spectral range 320-400 nm for which the detector is designed. This explains the large deviation with this lamp.

Evaluation of the spectral mismatch factor is a good way to test the detector performance for an intended application. However, this can only be done if the values of the relative spectral distributions of the measured source, the calibration lamp, and the detector are available. Hence to reduce the additional measurement error introduced by the spectral mismatch error of the UV broadband radiometer, this data is needed from the manufacturer.

Short- and long-wavelength range response characteristic of UV radiometers

In photometry, the long and short wavelength response is easier to check than in the UV region. This is due to the smooth photometric V(λ) curve and the smooth standard illuminant A. Therefore, optical glass filters are recommended for the evaluation. In the UV region, however, the reference spectra and light sources are more complicated.

In this chapter the short and long wavelength response of a UV radiometer and its impact on measurements is explained with the help of an example. If we measure the long pass filter response with a 2 mm thick WG320 Schott optical glass filter (Figure 5), which should be suitable to check the long wave response for this detector device (50 percent transmission value will be at 320 nm), we should get a usable result. We get a result value of 2 percent for the long wavelength responsivity.

In practice, according to the WG320 filter’s data sheet specification, the 50 percent value could vary from 314 nm to 326 nm (Figure 6). When measuring with these two filters, we get result values between 0.2 percent and 9 percent. It is quite clear that these values do not express the performance of the UV detector, but originate from the wide spectral tolerance of the long pass wavelength filter. Therefore, this evaluation is not suitable in the UV range. The same principle applies to the short wavelength response.

Due to the tolerance problems, the short-wavelength range response index ƒsh,act and the long-wavelength range response index ƒlo,act have to be calculated directly from the measured relative spectral responsivity of the UV radiometer being characterized instead of the filter method. CIE 220 does not recommend the filter method for evaluating the out of band response. Also the fluorescence of the filter has to be taken into account.

The characteristics of the respective out-of-band response of the radiometer, i.e. the short-wavelength range response index, ƒsh,act, and the long-wavelength range response index, ƒlo,act, are determined as the ratio between the relative upper and lower out-of-band responsivity to the relative in-band responsivity of the UV radiometer with respect to the action spectrum of interest,

where λsh,Sensor is the wavelength where the responsivity of the detector used in the UV radiometer becomes negligible (i.e. below the expected uncertainty of the measurements) on the short wavelength side.

This wavelength may be set to 200 nm; λsh,Sensor is the wavelength where the responsivity of the detector used in the UV radiometer becomes negligible (i.e. below the expected uncertainty of the measurements) on the long wavelength side; λsh,Aact is the short wavelength edge of the actinic function for which the UV radiometer is designed; λlo,Aact is the long wavelength edge of the actinic function for which the UV radiometer is designed; and srel(λ) is the relative spectral responsivity of the UV radiometer.

The out-of-band indices ƒsh,act and ƒlo,act are defined independently from the used calibration and application sources. The actual out-of-band signal of a UV radiometer will depend on the signal of the used sources in the out-of-band range of the spectrum. Therefore, ƒsh,act and ƒlo,act serve only as general information about the detector and cannot be used to correct measurements.

CIE 220 recommendation for UV radiometer datasheets

CIE 220 is the first document that states a list of quality indices for UV radiometers that should be included in the datasheets of such instruments.

Compared to photometry (ISO/CIE 19476:2104(E)), there are only individual ƒx-values defined and no ƒtot.

This is practical since for many UV applications, not every ƒx-values is needed. However, manufacturers should state all of the ƒx-values to give the user the chance to evaluate the ƒx-values needed for their application.

For reference instruments (highest quality instruments), the manufacturer ideally should provide the following data for each individually measured and characterized instrument:
• the target action spectrum.
• the reference-spectrum sources used for calculations of effective responsivities.
• the type of calibration source used to calibrate the effective responsivity under specific conditions.
• the spectral response.
• the wavelength corresponding to peak spectral responsivity.
• the usable dose or irradiance range, as appropriate.
• the target angular response (cosine, 2p etc.).
• the allowed operating temperature interval and associated temperature coefficient.
• the calibration temperature during calibration of the reference instrument.
• the allowed humidity during operation.
• the tabulated values of the spectral responsivity including assigned uncertainties.
• the tabulated values of the angular response.
• the quality indices including estimated uncertainties.
• the reference plane of calibration.

With the help of this information, the users will be able to perform reliable measurements and to calculate uncertainty budgets for their measurement.

Uncertainty evaluation

The final measurement uncertainty associated with a UV radiometer depends on the calibration and measurement itself. Hence, an uncertainty budget of the measurement and the calibration are needed. The uncertainty budget for the calibration needs to be provided by the manufacturer.

For instance, within the calibration certificate, spectral mismatch correction factors with their assigned uncertainties should be provided for typical sources for which the UV radiometer might be used or even for user specific sources.

Major sources of uncertainty during calibration are:
• Calibration uncertainty of the standard lamp for spectral radiant quantity.
• Measurement uncertainty of the spectral distribution of the calibration source.
• Calibration uncertainty of standard detector used for measurement of spectral responsivity.
• Calibration uncertainty of the working standard meter.
• Drift of the standard lamp used due to aging.
• Aging of working standard meter due to changes of the filter transmittance, detector’s spectral responsivity and its electronic circuit.
• Non-linearity and range change of the standard meter.
• Measurement uncertainty of electrical quantities (e.g. current measurement from photodiode) in the standard meter if they are measured separately using a current or volt meter.
• Calibration uncertainty of amplifiers.
• Drift of amplifier.
• Stability of the radiant quantity from the UV source.
• Straylight falling on the detector in the calibration.
• Positioning uncertainties of both test and standard meter heads.
• Alignment of the meter heads relative to the beam.
• Spatial non-uniformity of detectors’ responsivities.
• Spatial non-uniformity of irradiating beam.
• Temperature change of the meter head due to heating by the radiation of calibration source.
• Uncertainty caused by the low display resolution of some industrial UV radiometers.
• Uncertainty of time interval measurement for dosage (time integrated) calibration.
• Random uncertainties (type A) during calibration.

The uncertainty evaluation should be made by qualified professionals according to the methods, standards and conditions recommended.


After 18 years of work, the technical report CIE 220 has finally been published, which provides a helpful guidance for UV radiometers. By correct application of the stated methods within the document, users are able to reduce the measurement uncertainty of UV radiometers. However, precise and detailed information about the meter has to be provided by the manufacturers.

Finally, with this information and the stated methods in CIE 220, different detectors, UV radiometers, broadband UV radiometers and other UV instruments can be compared.


CIE (2016). CIE 220:2016, Characterization and Calibration Method of UV Radiometers, CIE, Vienna, Austria, 2016, 52 pp.

Working Group (2000). Working Group 1: Guidance for UV power meter classification for particular applications, “Characterizing the Performance of Integral Measuring UV-Meters,” UV News, Part A: Final report of WG1, 26 pp.

ICNIRP (2004). ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection); Sliney, D.H.; Cesarini, J.P.; De Gruijl, F.R.; Diffey, B.; Hietanen, M.; Mainster, M.; Okuno, T.; Soderberg, P.G.; Stuck, B.; Eds., “Guidelines on limits of exposure to ultraviolet radiation of wavelengths between 180 nm and 400 nm (incoherent optical radiation)” Health Physics, 87: 171-186.

ACGIH (1992). ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists), 1992-1993. Threshold limit values for chemical substances and physical agents and biological exposure indices, ISBN: 0-936712-99-6.