Abstract

The Spectromètre à Diodes Laser Accordables (SDLA), a balloonborne spectrometer devoted to the in situ measurement of CH4 and H2O in the atmosphere that uses commercial distributed-feedback InGaAs laser diodes in combination with differential absorption spectroscopy, is described. Absorption spectra of CH4 (in the 1.653-µm region) and H2O (in the 1.393-µm region) are simultaneously sampled at 1-s intervals by coupling with optical fibers of two near-infrared laser diodes to a Herriott multipass cell open to the atmosphere. Spectra of methane and water vapor in an altitude range of ∼1 to ∼31 km recorded during the recent balloon flights of the SDLA are presented. Mixing ratios with a precision error ranging from 5% to 10% are retrieved from the atmospheric spectra by a nonlinear least-squares fit to the spectral line shape in conjunction with in situ simultaneous pressure and temperature measurements.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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