The aim of SAFIRE-A is to manufacture a far infrared Fourier transform spectrometer to make atmospheric limb scanning observations. The instrument will be flown on either the Geophysica aircraft, the Strato-2C or balloons and will be capable to measure gases in the HOx family and other gases involved in stratospheric processes resulting in ozone depletion.
The proposed instrument will use technology and observational techniques, which we have developed in connection with the SAFIRE(EOS) and IBEX (Infrared Balloon Experiment) programmes. The new instrument, designated SAFIRE-A, will be developed as an extension of the collaboration involving Italian, British, French and United States groups in the IBEX and SAFIRE projects.
The far infrared spectral region of the atmospheric spectrum is particularly rich in spectral features of hydrogen and oxygen molecules important in ozone chemistry. SAFIRE-A will use a Fourier transform interferometer in conjunction with background-limited photoconductive detectors to detect far infrared spectral line emission from many key species. In particular, it will measure transitions of the NOx family (OH, HO2, H2O2) and of O3, H2O, HOCl, HF, HCl in the lower stratosphere. These capabilities will be available in the SAFIRE-A instrument as proposed here. It is important to note, however, that, with relatively minor changes, the instrument can be modified for use in different spectral regions between 3 and 700 cm-1.
SAFIRE-A data will be used to determine the vertical concentration profiles of the observed species from the tropopause (which in the polar regions can be at less than 10 km) to the flight altitude (20-25 km for aircraft altitudes; 40 km for balloon altitudes), with measurements of total column content above the flight altitude.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
E1 4NS London