Measurement of the atmospheric concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO<sub>2</sub>) pollutant was demonstrated by differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) using a visible acousto-optic tunable filter. In a traditional spectral scanning DOAS system for atmospheric concentration monitoring, a highly stable light source is required. When the light intensity fluctuates during scanning, the concentration retrieval will be inaccurate. In order to reduce the error due to intensity fluctuations, a modified DOAS system has been developed by introducing a broadband light intensity monitoring channel. Using the measured intensity of the broadband channel as the intensity of the light source, the spectrum can be de-biased and the residual intensity variation will primarily result from atmospheric extinction. In addition, by employing the lock-in detection technique, the background light interference is also removed in the modified DOAS system. The atmospheric NO<sub>2</sub> concentration measurement was performed at the campus of City University of Hong Kong, and the results were compared with the concentration reported from a nearby monitoring station in Sham Shui Po, operated by the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department.
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