print page

Satellite-based instruments

The UV-Vis/DOAS group uses measurement from several satellite-based instruments to determine the concentration and distribution of some trace gases in the Earth's atmosphere. The intruments we use are all nadir-viewing, i.e. the look downward while orbitting the Earth. These instruments measure the sunlight scattered in the atmosphere and reflected by the surface of the Earth, as function of the wavelength of the light. In other words: the instruments measure earthshine spectra. Comparing such a spectrum with the spectrum of the sunlight itself provides information on the distribution and concentration of trace gases, such as ozone and NO2, because these gases absorb or scatter part of the incoming sunlight.

The following gives a very short description of the instruments used by the UV-Vis/DOAS group and the data products derived from their measurements:

 

GOME

The (first) Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) was launched aboard the second European Remote Sensing (ERS-2) satellite by the European Space Agency (ESA) on 21 April 1995. The satellite orbits the Earth at about 790 km in a sun-synchronus orbit, which means that it passes the equator always at the same local time (10:30 a.m., going north to south), and each orbit takes approximately 100 minutes. While orbitting, GOME scans the Earth with a full swath width of 960 km. The nominal size of the ground pixel, i.e. the area on the Earth's surface measured by the instrument, is 320 by 40 km.

More information regarding GOME can be found, for example, on the website of ESA, DLR and the University of Bremen.

data product data access
NO2 Off-line [NRT]
BrO Off-line [NRT]
H2CO Off-line  

 

SCIAMACHY

The Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument flies aboard the Environmental Satellite (ENVISAT), which was launched by ESA in March 2002 in an orbit at about 790 km. While orbitting SCIAMACHY scans the Earth with a full swath width of 960 km, with a nominal ground pixel size of about 60 by 40 km. The satellite orbits the Earth in a sun-synchronus orbits that passes the Equator going north to south at about 10:00 a.m. Along its orbit SCIAMACHY measures alternating in nadir and limb mode for 1 minute each.

More information regarding GOME can be found, for example, on the SCIAMACHY website or the websites of ESA, and DLR.

data product data access
NO2   NRT
BrO Off-line NRT
H2CO Off-line  
SO2 Off-line NRT

 

GOME-2

The GOME-2 instrument is in a way the successor of the GOME instrument aboard ERS-2, mentioned above. The GOME-2 instrument flies aboard the MetOp-A satellite, launched by EUMETSAT on 19 October 2006. MetOp-A is the first in a series of three operational satellites meant to monitor the Earths atmosphere. The satellite orbits the Earth at about 800 km in a sun-synchronus orbits that passes the Equator going north to south at about 09:30 a.m., and each orbit takes approximately 100 minutes. The full swath width of the scan GOME-2 makes is 1900 km, and the nominal size of the ground pixels is about 80 by 40 km.

More information regarding GOME can be found, for example, on the website of EUMETSAT and DLR

data product data access
ozone   NRT
NO2   NRT
H2CO Off-line  
Glyoxal Off-line  
cloud fraction   NRT
cloud top pressure   NRT
 
Last update on 24 Nov 2016