Abstract

Aerosol extinction coefficients have been derived in the 375–700-nm spectral domain from measurements in the stratosphere since 1992, at night, at mid- and high latitudes from 15 to 40 km, by two balloonborne spectrometers, Absorption par les Minoritaires Ozone et NOx (AMON) and Spectroscopie d’Absorption Lunaire pour l’Observation des Minoritaires Ozone et NOx (SALOMON). Log-normal size distributions associated with the Mie-computed extinction spectra that best fit the measurements permit calculation of integrated properties of the distributions. Although measured extinction spectra that correspond to background aerosols can be reproduced by the Mie scattering model by use of monomodal log-normal size distributions, each flight reveals some large discrepancies between measurement and theory at several altitudes. The agreement between measured and Mie-calculated extinction spectra is significantly improved by use of bimodal log-normal distributions. Nevertheless, neither monomodal nor bimodal distributions permit correct reproduction of some of the measured extinction shapes, especially for the 26 February 1997 AMON flight, which exhibited spectral behavior attributed to particles from a polar stratospheric cloud event.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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