Lab Home > Monitoring Program > SR-18 > Monitoring Sites > Collaborative Monitoring Network

Collaborative Monitoring Network

Several monitoring objectives are achieved by joint research projects with other research institutions, these include instrument intercomparison and assessing the UV weathering of coatings and materials.

National Institutes of Standards and Technology - The primary purpose of the collaboration is to enable the coatings service life community to characterize outdoor exposure sites and to query and analyze quantitative data sets. UV radiation plays a role in the degradation of all polymeric materials including construction materials, like asphalt, paint, plastic, polymeric composites, sealants, and textiles, and biological systems. SR18 measurements are used as part of a Solar Environmental Data Network that is operated jointly with the Materials and Construction Research Division, Building and Fire Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, and also includes the participation of the US Department of Agriculture, UV-B Monitoring Program, Ft. Collins, CO and the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI. A data center has been established at NIST for the purpose of coordinating the acquisition, processing, and distribution of environmental data, and to conduct research on new methods for accelerated aging methodologies, and prediction models for predicting the service life of building materials. The NIST, Standard Reference Data Program has provided funding support for the data center since its creation in 1996. Currently, there are four exposure sites instrumented with the SR18 Spectroradiometer. For more information see

USDA Forest Products Laboratory - This unit's mission is to determine the basic mechanisms of deterioration of wood and wood-based composites used outdoors and to develop innovative technologies for modifying wood surfaces to enhance durability. Research is conducted at an exposure site near Madison, WI. SR18 monitoring is used to determine specimen exposure. For more information see

UV-B Monitoring Program -
This program provides information to the agricultural community and others about the climatological and geographical distribution of UVB irradiance; furnishes the basic information necessary to support evaluations of the potential damage effects of UVB to agricultural crops and forests; supplies ground truth for satellite measurements and basic information for radiation transfer model calculations; and establishes long-term records of UVB irradiance necessary to assess trends. The UV-B program has six SR-18 instruments, one of which is sited at the Table Mountain Test Facility (TMTF). The TMTF is a joint measurement site operated by the Central UV Calibration Facility where instruments used in several UV networks are operating in parallel, providing intercalibration of network instruments. Periodically, intensive intercomparison campaigns are conducted at the facility. The instruments are maintained and calibrated by SERC with support from NIST and USDA. For more on the UV-B program see For more on intercomparisons see the U.S. Monitoring Network page of this site.