Atmospheric vertical profiles of O3, N2O, CH 4, CCl2F2, and H2O retrieved from external-cavity quantum-cascade laser heterodyne radiometer measurements

Tracy R. Tsai, Rebecca A. Rose, Damien Weidmann, Gerard Wysocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Atmospheric vertical profiles of ozone, nitrous oxide, methane, dichlorodifluoromethane, and water are retrieved from data collected with a widely tunable external-cavity quantum-cascade laser heterodyne radiometer (EC-QC-LHR) covering a spectral range between 1120 and 1238 cm-1. The instrument was operated in solar occultation mode during a two-month measurement campaign at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK, in winter 2010/2011, and ultrahigh-resolution (60 MHz or 0.002 cm-1) transmission spectra were recorded for multiple narrow spectral windows (̃1 cm-1 width) specific to each molecule. The ultrahigh spectral resolution of the EC-QC-LHR allows retrieving altitudinal profiles from transmission spectra that contain only few (1-3) significant absorption lines of a target molecule. Profiles are validated by comparing with European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts operational atmospheric profiles (ozone and water), with other data in the literature (nitrous oxide, methane, dichlorodifluoromethane), and with retrievals from a lower resolution (600 MHz or 0.02 cm-1) Fourier transform spectroscopy data that were also recorded during the measurement campaign.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8779-8792
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number36
StatePublished - Dec 20 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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