Abstract

Atmospheric vertical profiles of ozone, nitrous oxide, methane, dichlorodifluoromethane, and water are retrieved from data collected with a widely tunable external-cavity quantum-cascade laser heterodyne radiometer (EC-QC-LHR) covering a spectral range between 1120 and 1238cm1. The instrument was operated in solar occultation mode during a two-month measurement campaign at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK, in winter 2010/2011, and ultrahigh-resolution (60 MHz or 0.002cm1) transmission spectra were recorded for multiple narrow spectral windows (1cm1 width) specific to each molecule. The ultrahigh spectral resolution of the EC-QC-LHR allows retrieving altitudinal profiles from transmission spectra that contain only few (1–3) significant absorption lines of a target molecule. Profiles are validated by comparing with European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts operational atmospheric profiles (ozone and water), with other data in the literature (nitrous oxide, methane, dichlorodifluoromethane), and with retrievals from a lower resolution (600 MHz or 0.02cm1) Fourier transform spectroscopy data that were also recorded during the measurement campaign.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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