Articles | Volume 6, issue 3
Research article
08 Mar 2013
Research article |  | 08 Mar 2013

Analysis of the potential of one possible instrumental configuration of the next generation of IASI instruments to monitor lower tropospheric ozone

P. Sellitto, G. Dufour, M. Eremenko, J. Cuesta, P. Dauphin, G. Forêt, B. Gaubert, M. Beekmann, V.-H. Peuch, and J.-M. Flaud

Abstract. To evaluate the added value brought by the next generation of IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounder Interferometer) instruments to monitor lower tropospheric (LT) ozone, we developed a pseudo-observation simulator, including a direct simulator of thermal infrared spectra and a full inversion scheme to retrieve ozone concentration profiles. We based our simulations on the instrumental configuration of IASI and of an IASI-like instrument, with a factor 2 improvement in terms of spectral resolution and radiometric noise. This scenario, that will be referred to as IASI/2, is one possible configuration of the IASI-NG (New Generation) instrument (the configuration called IASI-NG/IRS2) currently designed by CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales). IASI-NG is expected to be launched in the 2020 timeframe as part of the EPS-SG (EUMETSAT Polar System-Second Generation, formerly post-EPS) mission. We produced one month (August 2009) of tropospheric ozone pseudo-observations based on these two instrumental configurations. We compared the pseudo-observations and we found a clear improvement of LT ozone (up to 6 km altitude) pseudo-observations quality for IASI/2. The estimated total error is expected to be more than 35% smaller at 5 km, and 20% smaller for the LT ozone column. The total error on the LT ozone column is, on average, lower than 10% for IASI/2. IASI/2 is expected to have a significantly better vertical sensitivity (monthly average degrees of freedom surface–6 km of 0.70) and to be sensitive at lower altitudes (more than 0.5 km lower than IASI, reaching nearly 3 km). Vertical ozone layers of 4 to 5 km thickness are expected to be resolved by IASI/2, while IASI has a vertical resolution of 6–8 km. According to our analyses, IASI/2 is expected to have the possibility of effectively separate lower from upper tropospheric ozone information even for low sensitivity scenarios. In addition, IASI/2 is expected to be able to better monitor LT ozone patterns at local spatial scale and to monitor abrupt temporal evolutions occurring at timescales of a few days, thus bringing an expected added value with respect to IASI for the monitoring of air quality.