In the retrieval of vertical profiles of atmospheric constituents, regularization methods are frequently used to improve the conditioning of the solution. The regularization reduces the retrieval errors and causes the vertical resolution to deteriorate. One obtains a trade-off by tuning the strength of the regularization by way of a regularization parameter. A new analytical method for determining the regularization parameter is presented. This method is suitable for operational retrievals, for which an unattended procedure is required. The performance of the new method is compared with that of the L-curve method, and the results show that a better trade-off between retrieval errors and vertical resolution is obtained.
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