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The Suitability of the Iasi Instrument for Observing CO from Space

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posted on 05.05.2011, 15:37 authored by Samuel Michael Illingworth
This thesis presents a methodological approach to developing the capability of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) instrument to inform on the atmospheric concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), focussing on three key studies: 1) an assessment of the radiometric accuracy of the instrument; 2) the development of the University of Leicester IASI Retrieval Scheme (ULIRS) to convert measured radiances into a CO product; and 3) an investigation into the reliability and possible use of the ULIRS product. An intercomparison between the radiances as measured by the IASI and Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) instruments is performed, and absolute differences at 11 µm of less than 0:1K are observed. Given the radiometric behaviour across the IASI instrument as a whole, it is also concluded that the IASI instrument is radiometrically accurate to < 0.3K in the 12 and 4.7 µm spectral regions. A retrieval scheme, the ULIRS, is developed with explicit digital elevation and emissivity information, and a correction for solar surface reflection with a high resolution solar spectrum. Typical random errors over the African region relating to the profiles are found to be ~10% at 5 and 12 km, and on the total columns to be ~12 %. The ULIRS dataset and the operational CO products from the Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) are inter-compared. A methodology which uses the same a priori statistics, and which reduces the smoothing bias between the two sets of data shows that there is only a small bias between the ULIRS and MOPITT V4 products. A simplified top-down approach to estimating CO emissions from fires is also presented, highlighting the need for a better understanding of the correct detection of burnt area from space-based measurements.



Remedios, John; Boesch, Hartmut

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University of Leicester

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