Articles | Volume 4, issue 2
Research article
11 Feb 2011
Research article |  | 11 Feb 2011

ULIRS, an optimal estimation retrieval scheme for carbon monoxide using IASI spectral radiances: sensitivity analysis, error budget and simulations

S. M. Illingworth, J. J. Remedios, H. Boesch, D. P. Moore, H. Sembhi, A. Dudhia, and J. C. Walker

Abstract. This paper presents a new retrieval scheme for tropospheric carbon monoxide (CO), using measured radiances from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) onboard the MetOp-A satellite. The University of Leicester IASI Retrieval Scheme (ULIRS) is an optimal estimation retrieval scheme, which utilises equidistant pressure levels and a floating pressure grid based on topography. It makes use of explicit digital elevation and emissivity information, and incorporates a correction for solar surface reflection in the daytime with a high resolution solar spectrum. The retrieval scheme has been assessed through a formal error analysis, via the simulation of surface effects and by an application to real IASI data over a region in Southern Africa. The ULIRS enables the retrieval of between 1 and 2 pieces of information about the tropospheric CO vertical profiles, with peaks in the sensitivity at approximately 5 and 12 km. Typical errors for the African region relating to the profiles are found to be ~20% at 5 and 12 km, and on the total columns to range from 18 to 34%. Finally the performance of the ULIRS is shown for a range of simulated geophysical conditions.