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Influence of scintillation on GOMOS ozone retrievals

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Abstract:

The stellar light passed through the Earth atmosphere is affected by refractive effects, which should be taken into account in retrievals from stellar occultation measurements. Scintillation caused by air density irregularities is a nuisance for retrievals of atmospheric composition. In this paper, we consider the influence of scintillation on stellar occultation measurements and on quality of ozone retrievals from these measurements, based on experience of the GOMOS (Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars) instrument on board the Envisat satellite. In the GOMOS retrievals, the scintillation effect is corrected using scintillation measurements by the fast photometer. We present quantitative estimates of the current scintillation correction quality and of the impact of scintillation on ozone retrievals by GOMOS. The analysis has shown that the present scintillation correction efficiently removes the distortion of transmission spectra caused by anisotropic scintillations. The impact of errors of dilution and anisotropic scintillation correction on quality of ozone retrievals is negligible. However, the current scintillation correction is not able to remove the wavelength-dependent distortion of transmission spectra caused by isotropic scintillations, which can be present in off-orbital-plane occultations. This distortion may result in error of ozone retrievals of 0.5–1.5% at altitudes 20–40 km. This contribution to the error budget is significant for bright stars. The advanced inversion methods that can minimize the influence of scintillation correction error are also discussed.

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