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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 26 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 26 Aug 2019

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

Validation analysis of deriving acetonitrile (CH3CN) profiles by observations of SMILES from the International Space Station, in the stratosphere and lower mesosphere

Tamaki Fujinawa1, Tomohiro O. Sato1, Takayoshi Yamada1, Seidai Nara1,2, Yuki Uchiyama1,3, Kodai Takahashi1,3, Naohiro Yoshida4, and Yasuko Kasai1 Tamaki Fujinawa et al.
  • 1National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, 4-2-1 Nukui-kitamachi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan
  • 2University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennnoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
  • 3Tokyo Gakugei University, 4-1-1 Nukui-kitamachi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8501, Japan
  • 4Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, IE-1, 2-12-1, Oookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

Abstract. Acetonitrile (CH3CN) is one of the volatile organic compounds (VOC) and a potential tracer of biomass burning. We evaluated the capability of using observations derived from the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) on the International Space Station (ISS) to measure CH3CN profiles. The error in a CH3CN vertical profile from the Level-2 research (L2r) product version 3.0.0 was estimated by both theoretical error analysis and compared with other instrumental measurements. We estimated the systematic and random errors to be ~5.8 ppt (7.8 %) and 25 ppt (60 %) for a single observation at 15.7 hPa, respectively, in the Tropics, where the CH3CN measurements are enhanced. The major source of systematic error was a pressure broadening, and its contribution to the total systematic error was approximately 60 % in the middle stratosphere (15.7–4.8 hPa). The random error decreased to less than 40 % after averaging 10 profiles in the pressure range of 28.8–1.6 hPa. The total error due to uncertainties in other molecular spectroscopic parameters was comparable (2.8 ppt) to those of CH3CN spectroscopic parameters. We compared the SMILES CH3CN profiles with those of the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on the Aura satellite (version 4.2). The SMILES CH3CN values were consistent with those from MLS within the standard deviation (1 σ) of the MLS observations. The difference between the SMILES and MLS CH3CN profiles increased with altitude and was within 20–35 ppt (20–260 %) at 15.7–1.6 hPa. We observed discrepancies of 5–10 ppt (10–30 %) between the SMILES CH3CN profiles observed by different spectrometers, so we do not recommend merging SMILES CH3CN profiles derived from the different spectrometers. We found that SMILES CH3CN VMR in the upper stratosphere has a seasonal maximum in February, which is consistent with the fact that biomass burning events are highest from December–March.

Tamaki Fujinawa et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Tamaki Fujinawa et al.
Tamaki Fujinawa et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We performed an error analysis of SMILES observation for acetonitrile and the validation using the MLS observation by extracting the coincident points between the two observations. The major error sources for the SMILES observation were quantitatively estimated. At upper pressure levels the difference between the two observations increased because of an uncertainty of MLS observations. The results showed that SMILES has an advantage of measuring acetonitrile in upper stratosphere and mesosphere.
We performed an error analysis of SMILES observation for acetonitrile and the validation using...