Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
05 Aug 2009
 | 05 Aug 2009

Stratospheric isotopic water profiles from a single submillimeter limb scan by TELIS

A. de Lange, J. Landgraf, and R. Hoogeveen

Abstract. Around 490 GHz relatively strong HDO and H218O emission lines can be found in the submillimeter thermal-emission spectrum of the Earth's atmosphere, along with lines of the principal isotopologue of water vapour. These can be used for remote sensing of the rare/principal isotope ratio in the stratosphere. A sensitivity study has been performed for retrieval simulations of water isotopologues from balloon-borne measurements by the limb sounder TELIS (TErahertz and submillimeter LImb Sounder). The study demonstrates the capability of TELIS to determine, from a single limb scan, the profiles for H218O and HDO between 20 km and 37 km with a retrieval error of ≈3 and a spatial resolution of 1.5 km, as determined by the width of the averaging kernel. In addition HDO can be retrieved in the range of 10–20 km, albeit with a strongly deteriorated retrieval error. Expected uncertainties in instrumental parameters have only limited impact on the retrieval results.