Our name has changed. Learn more

South Pole, Antarctica Balloon-Borne Ozonesonde Profile Measurment Program


Weekly balloon-borne ozone profiles are measured at the South Pole Observatory (station code SPO) on the Antarctic continent: 89.98° South, 24.8° West: 2810 meters above sea level.

Date of Measurements:

1986 – current.

You can view vertical profiles of ozone sondes from South Pole.
Data files for the Summit ozonesondes can be found at


Ozone monitoring by NOAA and its predecessors at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station goes back to 1961 when the first Dobson spectrophotometer measurements were made. These continue to the current date. Dobson instruments, as well as satellite instruments such as TOMS, measure ozone by detecting the amount of solar ultraviolet radiation able to penetrate through the stratospheric ozone layer. Reduced ozone results in increased ultraviolet (the reason that the ozone layer is important). Since these instruments are inoperable at the South Pole during the dark winter, NOAA began weekly ozone balloon soundings from the South Pole in 1986. During the austral spring (September to November), the sounding frequency is increased to about 3 per week in an ongoing study of the Antarctic Ozone Hole. These soundings have revealed total destruction of springtime ozone in the 14 to 19 km altitude region of the stratosphere.

Ozonesonde balloon launch at South Pole.