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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-478
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Apr 2018

Research article | 10 Apr 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Intercomparison of four airborne imaging DOAS systems for tropospheric NO2 mapping – The AROMAPEX campaign

Frederik Tack1, Alexis Merlaud1, Andreas C. Meier2, Tim Vlemmix3,a, Thomas Ruhtz4, Marian-Daniel Iordache5, Xinrui Ge3,b, Len van der Wal6, Dirk Schuettemeyer7, Magdalena Ardelean8, Andreea Calcan8, Anja Schönhardt2, Koen Meuleman5, Andreas Richter2, and Michel Van Roozendael1 Frederik Tack et al.
  • 1BIRA-IASB, Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium
  • 2IUP-Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany
  • 3TU Delft, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 4FUB, Institute for Space Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • 5VITO-TAP, Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Mol, Belgium
  • 6TNO, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, the Netherlands
  • 7ESA-ESTEC, European Space Agency, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
  • 8INCAS, National Institute for Aerospace Research "Elie Carafoli", Bucharest, Romania
  • anow at: KNMI, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • bnow at: WUR, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands

Abstract. We present an intercomparison study of four airborne imaging DOAS instruments, dedicated to the retrieval and high resolution mapping of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) vertical column densities (VCDs). The AROMAPEX campaign took place in Berlin, Germany in April, 2016 with the primary objective to test and intercompare the performance of experimental airborne imagers. The imaging DOAS instruments were operated simultaneously from two manned aircraft, performing synchronised flights: APEX (VITO/BIRA-IASB) was operated from DLR's DO-228 D-CFFU aircraft at 6.2km altitude, while AirMAP (IUP-Bremen), SWING (BIRA-IASB) and SBI (TNO/TU Delft/KNMI) were operated from the FUB Cessna 207T D-EAFU at 3.1km. Two synchronised flights took place on 21 April 2016. NO2 slant columns were retrieved by applying differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) in the visible wavelength region and converted to VCDs by the computation of appropriate air mass factors (AMFs). Finally, the NO2 VCDs were georeferenced and mapped at high spatial resolution. For the sake of harmonising the different data sets, efforts were made to agree on a common set of parameter settings, AMF LUT and gridding algorithm. The NO2 horizontal distribution, observed by the different DOAS imagers, shows very similar spatial patterns. The NO2 field is dominated by two large plumes related to industrial compounds, crossing the city from west to east. The major highways A100 and A113 are also identified as line sources of NO2. Retrieved NO2 VCDs range between 1×1015moleccm−2 upwind of the city and 20×1015moleccm−2 in the dominant plume, with a mean of 7.3±1.8×1015moleccm−2 for the morning flight and between 1 and 23×1015moleccm−2 with a mean of 6.0±1.4×1015moleccm−2 for the afternoon flight. The mean NO2 VCD retrieval errors are in the range of 22 to 36% for all sensors. The four data sets are in good agreement with Pearson correlation coefficients better than 0.9, while the linear regression analyses show slopes close to unity and generally small intercepts.

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