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Stratospheric Aerosol Particle Size Retrieval



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The advent of satellite limb scatter measurements has allowed the stratosphere to be studied at a scope unparalleled by previous observational techniques, affording the opportunity to study structures on both small spacial and temporal scales. Utilizing these measurements to their fullest has fueled the development of radiative transfer models to simulate the measurements, but also inversion techniques to retrieve atmospheric parameters. The limb scatter instrument OSIRIS, onboard the Odin satellite, is currently used in conjunction with the SASKTRAN radiative transfer model and multiplicative algebraic reconstruction technique to retrieve stratospheric aerosol extinction. In this work, the aerosol information content of limb scatter measurements is explored and an improved version of the aerosol retrieval is developed through the simultaneous retrieval of a second aerosol parameter, the Angstrom coefficient, which is related to particle size. The sensitivity of limb scatter measurements to aerosol is investigated through forward modelling of OSIRIS measurements as a function of wavelength, satellite geometry and particle size. Information content of the measurements is investigated to determine the feasibility of retrieving various aerosol size parameters and a simple linear inversion technique is tested. Results from this study are used to develop a non-linear inversion technique with minimal sensitivity to the required assumptions. Incorporation of longer wavelength data into the retrieval allows for the determination of the wavelength dependence of the scattered signal, which when combined with a lognormal particle size distribution of constant mode width allows for the retrieval of aerosol number density and mode radius. Conversion of these parameters to extinction and the Angstrom coefficient provides retrieved quantities with minimal dependence on the assumed size distribution. Application of this technique to the OSIRIS data set shows improved extinction results through both internal comparisons of the data and when compared with other results from SAGE II, III and CALIPSO satellite measurements. Although the retrieved Angstrom coefficient shows some bias due to the required assumptions, comparisons with the SAGE II data set show considerable improvement over the apriori estimate.



Stratospheric Aerosol, Remote Sensing, OSIRIS



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Physics and Engineering Physics




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