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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Sep 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.
Retrieval of tropospheric NO2 columns over Berlin from high-resolution airborne observations with the spectrolite breadboard instrument
Tim Vlemmix1, Xinrui (Jerry) Ge1,a, Bryan T. G. de Goeij2, Len F. van der Wal2, Gerard C. J. Otter2, Piet Stammes3, Ping Wang3, Alexis Merlaud4, Dirk Schüttemeyer5, Andreas C. Meier6, J. Pepijn Veefkind3,1, and Pieternel F. Levelt3,1 1Delft University of Technology (TU-Delft), Delft, the Netherlands
2TNO, Delft, the Netherlands
3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, the Netherlands
4Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium
5European Space Agency, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
6Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany
acurrently at: Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Wageningen, the Netherlands
Abstract. This paper presents the retrieval method that was developed to derive tropospheric NO2 columns from UV/VIS spectral measurements obtained with the Spectrolite Breadboard Instrument during the AROMAPEX campaign in Berlin (April 2016). A typical DOAS retrieval approach is followed. For the calculation of air mass factors this study specifically focuses on the impact of the surface reflectance, which varies considerably from pixel to pixel over this urban region. Ground-based aerosol optical thickness measurements are used as prior information. It is shown that retrieved surface reflectance shows good agreement with those derived from Landsat 8 measurements performed on the same day. Furthermore we demonstrate that tropospheric NO2 columns retrieved for pairs of adjacent pixels are self-consistent in the sense that they do not show a substantial systematic dependence on surface reflectance, in contrast to differential slant column densities. Also some cases are identified to illustrate this on a pixel-by-pixel level. An error budget is provided to quantify the impact of various assumptions on the accuracy of the retrieval of surface reflectance and tropospheric NO2 columns. Both in the morning and afternoon flight a NO2 plume is observed stretching out over Berlin from West to East. Peak values between 15 × 1015 and 20 × 1015 molec/cm2 are detected, whereas – at much lower spatial resolution – OMI detects peak values between 9 × 1015 (first overpass) and 4 × 1015 molec/cm2 (second overpass).
Citation: Vlemmix, T., Ge, X. (., de Goeij, B. T. G., van der Wal, L. F., Otter, G. C. J., Stammes, P., Wang, P., Merlaud, A., Schüttemeyer, D., Meier, A. C., Veefkind, J. P., and Levelt, P. F.: Retrieval of tropospheric NO2 columns over Berlin from high-resolution airborne observations with the spectrolite breadboard instrument, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Tim Vlemmix et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
AC1: 'co-author list incomplete', Tim Vlemmix, 25 Sep 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
RC2: 'Review of Vlemmix et al', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Apr 2018 Printer-friendly Version 
Tim Vlemmix et al.
Tim Vlemmix et al.


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Short summary
We present a first analysis of UV/VIS spectral measurements obtained with the Spectrolite Breadboard Instrument (developed by TNO, The Netherlands) during the AROMAPEX campaign held in Berlin in April 2016 (campaign supported by ESA and EUFAR). This new sensor was used to measure air pollution in the form of tropospheric NO2 columns. The study focuses specifically on the retrieval of surface reflectances, an important intermediate step towards the final product.
We present a first analysis of UV/VIS spectral measurements obtained with the Spectrolite...