Atmospheric ozone is important to mankind because it absorbs most ultraviolet and other high energy radiation harmful to life, preventing it from reaching the earth's surface. A rapid loss of more than half of the ozone over Antarctica occurs in the springtime (= ozone hole). A Dobson spectrophotometer was installed at Arrival Heights in January 1988. The first full season of measurements began ... in mid-September the following spring. At installation, this was the fifth Dobson to be operating in Antarctica (South Pole, Halley Bay, Argentine Islands, Syowa). Measurements include the total amount of ozone in the vertical column of the atmosphere from mid-September until the end of February, and during the full moon periods from March to September (raw data = the times and instrument settings for instrument readings, derived data = column amounts of ozone). Measurements of the vertical distribution of ozone are also possible for six weeks each spring and autumn. Even though satellite measurements of ozone are now made routinely, their calibration and inter-comparison between satellites depend on accurate ground based measurements from the Dobson network. The instrument is shipped out for maintenance and inter-comparison with regional standard Dobson in Melbourne approximately every 5 years. It is still in manual mode but had an electronic encoder and computer added in 2006 for recording measurements, which replaced recording by wax paper charts. The data is submitted to the World Ozone and UV Data Centre, to the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) database and to the World Meteorological Organisation for use in its Antarctic ozone bulletins.
Raw data is also archieved in the ozone and UV data centre Toronto.