Vertical profiles of atmospheric density and temperature obtained with the technique of solar refractive sounding can potentially be used to improve satellite solar occultation trace species retrievals by reducing the uncertainties associated with Rayleigh scattering and the temperature dependence of absorption bands. The required refraction measurements and the algorithm utilized to recover density and temperature are described. Simulations are performed to estimate the measurement accuracy that is necessary to retrieve useful meteorological soundings at stratospheric altitudes. The method is applied to data measured by the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) II. Unfortunately, because of poor vertical sampling and measurement uncertainties, the meteorological profiles derived from the SAGE II data are not consistently accurate enough to improve the SAGE II estimates for the concentrations of trace species. However, the qualitatively decent results provide optimism for future development and implementation of visible refractive sounding as a tool to help improve the accuracy of trace species retrievals within solar or stellar occultation experiments, including the SAGE III program.
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