Stratospheric aerosol retrieval from OSIRIS limb scattered sunlight spectra
Bourassa, Adam Edward
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The recent development of satellite observations of limb scattered sunlight at optical wavelengths has afforded a new opportunity to measure the vertical structure of atmospheric composition from the upper troposphere to the mesosphere, on a global scale. The determination of profiles of atmospheric composition from observed limb radiance profiles requires two elements, a forward radiative transfer model and a species specific inversion algorithm. In this work, the development of a new, fully spherical, successive orders radiative transfer model, SASKTRAN, for the analysis of limb scattered sunlight is presented. The model is incorporated into a novel relaxation algorithm that employs spectral ratios to retrieve profiles of stratospheric aerosols from limb radiance measurements collected by the Canadian OSIRIS instrument on the Odin satellite.The SASKTRAN forward model results compare favorably with both OSIRIS observations as well as with other radiative transfer model calculations while remaining computationally practical for the operational inversion of large satellite data sets.The spectral ratio relaxation algorithm is able to retrieve aerosol number density profiles at stratospheric altitudes from limb radiance profiles assuming the height profile of the aerosol particle size distribution is known. The equivalent aerosol extinction derived from the OSIRIS measurements at visible wavelengths agrees with coincident occultation measurements from other satellite instrumentation to within 15% when a size distribution appropriate for background aerosol conditions is used. Finally, it is demonstrated that the incorporation of simultaneous infra-red observations at 1530 nm into the inversion yields a useful proxy for the aerosol size distribution parameters.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
ProgramPhysics and Engineering Physics
SupervisorLlewellyn, Edward J.; Degenstein, Douglas A.
CommitteeSofko, George J.; Moewes, Alexander; Loughman, Robert; Koustov, Alexandre V. (Sasha); Hussey, Glenn C.; Srinivasan, Raj
Copyright DateApril 2007