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Inversion and interpretation of high-resolution Fourrier transform nadir soundings of atmospheric thermal infrared radiances

Research project MO/35/011 (Research action MO)

Persons :

  • Dr.  DE MAZIERE Martine - Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (IASB-BIRA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2003-31/12/2006

Description :

Satellite-mounted instruments provide global coverage of the atmosphere. Initially developed and optimised for observation of the stratosphere, techniques are now used that have the capability to probe the lowest layers of the atmosphere. One of these techniques is nadir sounding of the radiance emitted by the Earth's surface and the atmosphere in the thermal IR range. The Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomics has extensive experience in IR spectroscopy of solar absorption used for observation of atmospheric composition, both from the ground and from space. It has recently been involved in satellite missions to analyse thermal IR radiance, such as IASI/METOP-1, which will be launched in 2005.

The purpose of this proposal is to participate in the processing of atmospheric radiance spectra in the thermal IR range obtained by IASI and other high-resolution IR spectrometers (typically Fourier transform spectrometers, FTIR) placed in orbit and observing in nadir mode. A new algorithm for inversion of atmospheric radiance spectra obtained in nadir mode will be developed, tested and validated. The main focus of this project will be to determine tropospheric abundances of a series of species such as CO, CH4, N2O for which very little global data is available. This data will also be used to augment the data obtained from ground-based FTIR instruments operated by IASB/BIRA, and satellite instruments such as MOPITT/Terra and instruments on board ENVISAT dedicated to atmospheric chemistry.

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