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You are here: GES DISC Home Ozone Additional Features Mission Satellite Total Column Ozone & Ozone Profile From Atmospheric Explorer BUV Mission

Total Column Ozone & Ozone Profile From Atmospheric Explorer BUV Mission


The Backscatter UV Spectrometer (BUV) (a spare from the Nimbus 7 program), was flown on the Atmospheric Explorer (AE-E) satellite (also known as AE-5 and Explorer 55) on November 20, 1975, to measure the solar UV radiation reflected and scattered by the earth's atmosphere. The AE-E satellite also carried other UV sensors to study in detail the upper atmosphere. AE-Ehad provided data far beyond its nominal life expectancy. It re-entered the atmosphere on June 10 of 1981. More details can be found in A. Dalgarno et al., Radio Sci., v. 8, n. 4, p. 263, 1973.

The mission summaries are given in:
"Atmosphere Explorer project; AE-E mission operation report," NASA, No. S-852-75-05, Nov. 1975. and " Atmosphere Explorer-E (Explorer 55) post launch report #1" NASA, No. S-852-75-05, Dec. 1975.

The Instrument

TheBackscatter UV Spectrometer (BUV) instrument comprising of a tandem Ebert-Fastie double monochromator and an interference filter photometer channel, measured the UV radiation reflected back from earth to space at 12 wavelengths from 2550 Å to 3400 Å. From these measurements the ozone mixing ratios at six atmospheric pressure levels from 0.4 mbar to 30 mbar were deduced.Dr. Donald F. Heath has been the principal investigator for the BUV missions.

The details of the BUV instrument, measurements and results are described by Spencer et al. (1973), Kreuger et al. (1976), Guenther et al.(1977), Frederick et al.(1977, 1981), and Blitza et al.(1995).

Data Products & Formats


  • Total columnozone
  • Ozone mixing ratios (at 6 pressure levels: 0.4, 1, 2, 5, 10, and 30 mbar)

 Data Format: 

Each data file contains one day of data (ASCII format). The first record is the header. It is followed by the block of data records for each specific parameter. The files are named as Eyymm_dd.DAT (for example: file E7512_01.DAT contains data for Dec 01, 1975)

Data Availability & Access

Available Data Period: December 1970 - June 1981

Data is free and available on-line. It can be downloaded from the FTP site.


Science questions concerningthis mission should be directed to:
Dr. Suraiya Ahmad
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
301-614-5284 (voice)
301-614-5268 (fax)
For information about or assistance in using any DAAC data, please contact
EOS Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC)
Code 610.2
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
301-614-5224 (voice)
301-614-5268 (fax)


Bilitza, D., Papitashvili, N., and J. King, 1995: The atmospheric Explorer satellites, AE-C, AE-D, and AE-E, [Text].

Frederick, J. E., 1977: Theoretical analysis of AE-BUV ozone data, In: Sci. Results of Atmos. Expl., 1, 357-364, NASA, July 1977.

Frederick, J. E., Abrams, R. B., Dasgupta, R., Guenther, B., 1981: Natural variability of tropical upper stratospheric ozone inferred from the Atmosphere Explorer backscatter ultraviolet experiment, J. Atmos. Sci., 38, 1092.

Guenther, B. Dasgupta, R. Heath, D., 1977: Twilight ozone measurement by solar occultation from AE-5 Geophys. Res. Lett., 4, No. 10, 434-436, Oct. 1977.

Krueger, A. J. Conrath, B. J. Yung, Y. L., 1976: Report of AE-E BUV data reduction techniques woking group NASA-GSFC, X-622-76-193, Greenbelt, MD, July 1976.

Spencer, N. W. Brace, L. H. Grimes, D. W., 1973: Atmosphere Explorer spacecraft system, Radio Sci., 8, No. 4, 267-269, Apr. 1973.

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Last updated: Jun 15, 2012 10:36 AM ET