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Irradiance Measurements & Spectroradiometry

Spectroradiometry is the study of electromagnetic radiation, including the visible wavelengths. Irradiance is one of the parameters that radiometry deals, it is defined as the radiant power on a surface per unit of area (usually 1m2). Irradiance measurements might be performed in the ultraviolet, the visible or in near-infrared light.

While broadband irradiance measurements are feasible with a single instrument, a more common system design includes four or more instruments configured for appropriate wavelength ranges with optimal performance achieved when the system employs dedicated instruments for the UV (200-400 nm) and NIR (1100-2500 nm) wavelength ranges.

An Avantes irradiance system employing multiple channels will connect the system spectrometers using fiber optic cable to a diffuser. This entire system then receives a special irradiance calibration against a NIST traceable irradiance source and shipped as an integrated system, and should remain integrated for the life of the system to maintain the integrity of the calibration.

Radiometry and Irradiance Measurement Applications

There are several common applications for irradiance measurements ranging from the characterization of pulsed solar simulator light sources that might be used in the solar power industry to free-space measurements of radiant sources such as street lights and lights in greenhouses.

Solar irradiance measurements characterize sunlight, defined as the totality of the magnetic spectrum emitted by the sun. Solar irradiance measurements are used in climate research and meteorology, material sciences, and in solar collection and renewable energy, and even in astronomy. During the Total solar eclipse that traversed North America in 2017, researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) paired Avantes spectrometers with powerful telescopes to capture amazing high-resolution spectra of the sun’s corona.

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Irradiance Measurement Instruments

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AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO

The StarLine AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO offers you this latest technology using CMOS instead of the conventional CCD technology. In combination with our latest AS-7010 electronics, it offers you a versatile device including USB3.0 communication with 10x higher speed communications and 50x more memory. The AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO is also available as OEM unit, bench-only or rackmount version.

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AvaSpec-ULS3648

The AvaSpec-ULS3648 is ideal for applications requiring high resolution. The electronic shutter supports integration times as short as 10 microseconds. Choose options such as order sorting filters, deep-UV detector coatings, and detector collection lenses to enhance overall sensitivity. Multiple channel configurations allow multiple simultaneous readouts and/or higher optical resolution by covering short dynamic ranges at optimum resolution.

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AvaSpec-ULS2048x64TEC

The SensLine AvaSpec-ULS2048x64TEC backthinned detecor has good sensitivity in the UV and IR regionand .89 mm pixel height maximizes photon collection while the cooling enables long integration times up to 500 seconds with low noise values. three-stage Peltier cooling device integrated into our exclusive ultra-low stray-light optical bench improves the dark baseline and reduces the dark noise by a factor of 2-3.

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Common Radiometry Setups

Sphere based radiometry system


  • Avasphere-100-IRRAD 100 mm internal diameter integrating sphere (25 mm port size)

  • AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO with 360-1100 nm range, Resolution 2.4 nm

  • FC-UVIR600-1-MS 600 micron core fiber optic cable

  • TR STAGE-US – Adjustable horizontally oriented sphere holder

Options/ Upgrades:


  • Available with integrating spheres up to 300 mm internal diameter

  • Spectrometer may be upgraded to the AvaSpec-ULS2048X64-EVO for increased signal to noise and sensitivity

Small sphere based radiometry system


  • Avasphere-50-IRRAD 50 mm internal diameter integrating sphere (10 mm port size)

  • AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO with 360-1100 nm range (adjustable), Resolution 2.4 nm

  • FC-UVIR600-1-MS 600 micron core fiber optic cable

  • TR STAGE-US – Adjustable horizontally oriented sphere holder.

Options/ Upgrades


  • Available with integrating spheres up to 300 mm internal diameter

  • Spectrometer may be upgraded to the AvaSpec-ULS2048X64-EVO for increased signal to noise and sensitivity

Laser power and wavelength metrology system


  • Avasphere-50-IRRAD 50 mm internal diameter integrating sphere (10 mm port size)

  • AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO with 200-1100 nm range (adjustable), Resolution 2.4 nm

  • 2 X FC-UVIR600-1-MS 600 micron core fiber optic cables

  • TR RAIL-US – Adjustable horizontal rail holder for transmission and irradiance measurements

Options/ Upgrades


  • Available with integrating spheres up to 80 mm internal diameter

UV, VIS or VIS/NIR Power and wavelength metrology system


  • AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO, Resolution 2.4 nm (slit dependent) configured for:
    • UV – 200-400 nm

    • VIS – 360-800 nm

    • VIS/NIR – 360-1100 nm

  • 1 X FC-UVIR600-1-MS 600 micron core fiber optic cables

  • CC-VIS/NIR cosine corrector

  • AvaTripod cosine corrector/collimating lens holder

Options/ Upgrades


  • Spectrometer may be upgraded to the AvaSpec-ULS2048X64-EVO for increased signal to noise and sensitivity

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Irradiance and Radiometry Resources

Irradiance and Spectroradiometry Information Page

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Irradiance Measurement Instrument Bundle

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Application Note: Irradiance Measurements

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Application Note: CubeSat Solar Irradiance Project

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Avantes Spectroradiometer measuring a Newport Solar Simulator

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