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Vertical profile measurements of tropospheric constituents from the ground using a novel ranging uv-visible spectrometer


The aim of this project is to develop and prove a prototype novel ranging UV-visible spectrometer for making remote vertical profile measurements of a range of atmospheric trace constituents throughout the troposphere from the ground.

A novel and not yet tried technique uses CCD arrays to combine benefits of both the UV-visible and the lidar methods, effectively creating a UV-visible spectrometer with ranging capabilities. Particular advantages of the proposed method are that range resolved measurements of weakly as well as strongly absorbing species are possible, and that simultaneous measurements of different constituents can be obtained with a single instrument. In principle, any constituent which can be monitored by UV-visible absorption spectroscopy will be accessible to measurement by this technique. Secondary advantages of the instrument are that simultaneous measurements of different constituents are readily achievable with one instrument, and its compactness makes it portable. The technique has also significant potential for the measurement of stratospheric composition, from both the ground and from aircraft.

The specific aims within this project are: 1) to construct a prototype UV-visible ranging spectrometer, 2) to prove the technique of UV-visible ranging spectroscopy by measuring profiles of O3 in the troposphere from the ground (such profiles would be independently verified), and 3) to explore further stages of development of the technique to improve both sensitivity and versatility as a step to developing inter-alia an airborne version of the ranging instrument. Specific areas of investigation would be the use of nonimaging optics (e.g. optical fibres) to increase usable flash lamp output and the possible use of novel light sources such as broad-band lasers.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


University of Cambridge
Lensfield Road
CB2 1EW Cambridge
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

Route Des Gètines
92371 Verrieres-le-buisson