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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 07 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 07 Jun 2019

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

Evaluating different methods for elevation calibration of MAX-DOAS instruments during the CINDI-2 campaign

Sebastian Donner1, Jonas Kuhn1,2, Michel Van Roozendael3, Alkiviadis Bais4, Steffen Beirle1, Tim Bösch5, Kristof Bognar6, Ilya Bruchkousky7, Ka Lok Chan8, Theano Drosoglou4, Caroline Fayt3, Udo Frieß2, François Hendrick3, Christian Hermans3, Junli Jin9, Ang Li10, Jianzhong Ma11, Enno Peters5,a, Gaia Pinardi3, Andreas Richter5, Stefan F. Schreier12, André Seyler5, Kimberly Strong6, Jan-Lukas Tirpitz2, Yang Wang1, Pinhua Xie10, Jin Xu10, Xiaoyi Zhao6,b, and Thomas Wagner1 Sebastian Donner et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 3BIRA-IASB – Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium
  • 4Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 5Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 6Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • 7National Ozone Monitoring Research and Education Center BSU, Minsk, Belarus
  • 8Meteorological Insitute, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
  • 9CMA Meteorological Observation Center, Beijing, China
  • 10Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Hefei, China
  • 11Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 12Institute of Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • anow at: Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Bremerhaven, Germany
  • bnow at: Air Quality Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Canada

Abstract. We present different methods for in-field elevation calibration of MAX-DOAS (Multi AXis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) instruments that were applied and inter-compared during the second Cabauw Intercomparison campaign for Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI-2). One necessary prerequisite of consistent MAX-DOAS retrievals is a precise and accurate calibration of the elevation angles of the different measuring systems. Therefore, different methods for this calibration were applied to 12 instruments from 11 groups during the campaign and the results were inter-compared.

This work first introduces and explains the different methods, namely far and near lamp measurements, white/bright stripe scans and horizon scans, using data and results for only one (mainly the MPIC) instrument. In the second part, the far lamp measurements and the horizon scans are examined for all participating groups. Here, the results for both methods are first inter-compared for the different instruments and secondly, the two methods are compared amongst each other.

All methods turned out to be well-suited for the calibration of the elevation angles of MAX-DOAS systems, with each of them having individual advantages and drawbacks. Considering the results of this study, the uncertainties of the methods can be estimated as ± 0.05° for the far lamp measurements, ± 0.1° to ± 0.3° for the horizon scans, and around ± 0.1° for the white stripe and near lamp measurements. When comparing the results of far lamp and horizon scan measurements, a spread of around 1° in the elevation calibrations is found between the participating instruments for both methods. This spread is on the order of a typical field of view (FOV) of a MAX-DOAS instrument and therefore, affecting the retrieval results. Further, a consistent (wavelength dependent) offset of 0.31° and 0.40° between far lamp measurements and horizon scans is found, which can be explained by the fact that, despite the flat topography around the measurement site, obstacles such as trees might mark the visible horizon during daytime. The observed wavelength dependence can be explained by surface albedo effects. Lastly, the results are discussed and recommendations for future campaigns are given.

Sebastian Donner et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Sebastian Donner et al.
Sebastian Donner et al.
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Short summary
The calibration of the elevation angles of MAX-DOAS instruments is important for the correct interpretation of such MAX-DOAS measurements. We present and evaluate different methods for the elevation calibration of MAX-DOAS instruments which were applied during the CINDI-2 field campaign.
The calibration of the elevation angles of MAX-DOAS instruments is important for the correct...