Irradiance, Inc. was founded in 2002 by Edward C. Kern, Jr., Ph.D. to manufacture the Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (RSR2), an instrument Dr. Kern and his colleagues developed in 1991 while Dr. Kern was president of Ascension Technology, Inc. Ascension Technology was a startup company, spin-off from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's early solar photovoltaic power systems research and development projects. During the late 1980's and 1990's the company's focus was on grid-connected PV systems for residential and commercial building roof-top applications. Instrumentation was always a strong component during these early years as most grid-tied systems were then "experimental" in many ways and much needed to be learned about their performance and interconnection to utility grids. Dr. Kern has retired but may be available for special consulting projects.
Dr. Kern's son, Chris Kern, began working with his father in 2012 and took over management of the company in 2016. His prior education and experience includes one summer at Ascension Technology assembling and refurbishing RSRs, a computer science degree, and some time at an Internet company.