Articles | Volume 3, issue 6
Research article
29 Nov 2010
Research article |  | 29 Nov 2010

Towards a 3-D tomographic retrieval for the air-borne limb-imager GLORIA

J. Ungermann, M. Kaufmann, L. Hoffmann, P. Preusse, H. Oelhaf, F. Friedl-Vallon, and M. Riese

Abstract. GLORIA (Gimballed Limb Observer for Radiance Imaging of the Atmosphere) is a new remote sensing instrument essentially combining a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer with a two-dimensional (2-D) detector array in combination with a highly flexible gimbal mount. It will be housed in the belly pod of the German research aircraft HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft). It is unique in its combination of high spatial and state-of-the art spectral resolution. Furthermore, the horizontal view angle with respect to the aircraft flight direction can be varied from 45° to 135°. This allows for tomographic measurements of mesoscale events for a wide variety of atmospheric constituents.

In this paper, a tomographic retrieval scheme is presented, which is able to fully exploit the manifold radiance observations of the GLORIA limb sounder. The algorithm is optimized for massive 3-D retrievals of several hundred thousands of measurements and atmospheric constituents on common hardware. The new scheme is used to explore the capabilities of GLORIA to sound the atmosphere in full 3-D with respect to the choice of the flightpath and to different measurement modes of the instrument using ozone as a test species. It is demonstrated that the achievable resolution should approach 200 m vertically and 20 km–30 km horizontally. Finally, a comparison of the 3-D inversion with conventional 1-D inversions using the assumption of a horizontally homogeneous atmosphere is performed.