Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Research article
13 Feb 2014
Research article |  | 13 Feb 2014

Stratospheric aerosol particle size information in Odin-OSIRIS limb scatter spectra

L. A. Rieger, A. E. Bourassa, and D. A. Degenstein

Abstract. The Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imaging System (OSIRIS) onboard the Odin satellite has now taken over a decade of limb scatter measurements that have been used to retrieve the version 5 stratospheric aerosol extinction product. This product is retrieved using a representative particle size distribution to calculate scattering cross sections and scattering phase functions for the forward model calculations. In this work the information content of OSIRIS measurements with respect to stratospheric aerosol is systematically examined for the purpose of retrieving particle size information along with the extinction coefficient. The benefit of using measurements at different wavelengths and scattering angles in the retrieval is studied, and it is found that incorporation of the 1530 nm radiance measurement is key for a robust retrieval of particle size information. It is also found that using OSIRIS measurements at the different solar geometries available on the Odin orbit simultaneously provides little additional benefit. Based on these results, an improved aerosol retrieval algorithm is developed that couples the retrieval of aerosol extinction and mode radius of a log-normal particle size distribution. Comparison of these results with coincident measurements from SAGE III shows agreement in retrieved extinction to within approximately 10% over the bulk of the aerosol layer, which is comparable to version 5. The retrieved particle size, when converted to Ångström coefficient, shows good qualitative agreement with SAGE II measurements made at somewhat shorter wavelengths.