Abstract

Solar occultation in the infrared, part of the Spectoscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus (SPICAV) instrument onboard Venus Express, combines an echelle grating spectrometer with an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF). It performs solar occultation measurements in the IR region at high spectral resolution. The wavelength range probed allows a detailed chemical inventory of Venus’s atmosphere above the cloud layer, highlighting the vertical distribution of gases. A general description of the instrument and its in-flight performance is given. Different calibrations and data corrections are investigated, in particular the dark current and thermal background, the nonlinearity and pixel-to-pixel variability of the detector, the sensitivity of the instrument, the AOTF properties, and the spectral calibration and resolution.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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