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Title: Tracking Elevated Pollution Layers with a Newly Developed Hyperspectral Sun/Sky Spectrometer (4STAR): Results from the TCAP 2012 and 2013 Campaigns

Total columnar amounts of water vapor, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) are derived from a newly developed, hyperspectral airborne sun-sky spectrometer (4STAR) for the first time during the two intensive phases of the Two Column Aerosol Project (TCAP) in summer 2012 and winter 2013 aboard the DOE G-1 aircraft. We compare results with coincident measurements. We find 0.045 g/cm2 (4.2%) negative bias and 0.28 g/cm2 (26.3%) root-mean-square (RMS) difference in water vapor layer comparison with in-situ hygrometer, and an overall RMS difference of 1.28 g/m3 (38%) water vapor amount in profile by profile comparisons, with differences distributed evenly around zero in most cases. The RMS differences for O3 values average to 3%, with a 1% negative bias for 4STAR compared with the spaceborne Ozone Measuring Instrument (OMI) along the aircraft flight-track for 14 flights during both TCAP phases. Ground-based comparisons with the Pandora spectrometer system at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Maryland showed excellent agreement between the instruments for both O3 and NO2, further emphasizing 4STAR’s new capabilities. During the summer phase, we have succeeded in identifying variations in elevated pollution layers corresponding to urban pollution outflow and transported biomass burning. This was done using clustering analysismore » of the retrieved products (e.g. Ångstrom exponent, NO2 and columnar water vapor), and was confirmed by aerosol type identification by HSRL2 aboard the NASA B-200 aircraft. These newly demonstrated 4STAR capabilities are expected to be instrumental in improving our understanding of atmospheric composition variability and aerosol-trace-gas interactions; they open new horizons and opportunities in airborne sunphotometry.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 119(5):2611-2628
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
pollution; hyperspectral; sun/sky; spectrometer; 4STAR; TCAP