Articles | Volume 8, issue 7
Research article
02 Jul 2015
Research article |  | 02 Jul 2015

GROMOS-C, a novel ground-based microwave radiometer for ozone measurement campaigns

S. Fernandez, A. Murk, and N. Kämpfer

Abstract. Stratospheric ozone is of major interest as it absorbs most harmful UV radiation from the sun, allowing life on Earth. Ground-based microwave remote sensing is the only method that allows for the measurement of ozone profiles up to the mesopause, over 24 hours and under different weather conditions with high time resolution.

In this paper a novel ground-based microwave radiometer is presented. It is called GROMOS-C (GRound based Ozone MOnitoring System for Campaigns), and it has been designed to measure the vertical profile of ozone distribution in the middle atmosphere by observing ozone emission spectra at a frequency of 110.836 GHz. The instrument is designed in a compact way which makes it transportable and suitable for outdoor use in campaigns, an advantageous feature that is lacking in present day ozone radiometers. It is operated through remote control.

GROMOS-C is a total power radiometer which uses a pre-amplified heterodyne receiver, and a digital fast Fourier transform spectrometer for the spectral analysis. Among its main new features, the incorporation of different calibration loads stands out; this includes a noise diode and a new type of blackbody target specifically designed for this instrument, based on Peltier elements. The calibration scheme does not depend on the use of liquid nitrogen; therefore GROMOS-C can be operated at remote places with no maintenance requirements. In addition, the instrument can be switched in frequency to observe the CO line at 115 GHz.

A description of the main characteristics of GROMOS-C is included in this paper, as well as the results of a first campaign at the High Altitude Research Station at Jungfraujoch (HFSJ), Switzerland. The validation is performed by comparison of the retrieved profiles against equivalent profiles from MLS (Microwave Limb Sounding) satellite data, ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast) model data, as well as our nearby NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change) ozone radiometer measuring at Bern.