New non-LTE retrieval method for atmospheric parameters from MIPAS/ENVISAT emission spectra at 5.3 μm

Bernd Funke, M. López-Puertas, G. Stiller, T. Von Clarmann, Javier Martin-Torres

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric emissions at 5.3 μm will be measured by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS), a high-resolution limb sounder on board the European polar platform ENVISAT, scheduled to be launched in 2001. Measured spectra at 5.3 μm contain information on important atmospheric quantities such as NO volume mixing ratio, thermospheric temperature, and chemical NO production rates. However, the scientific analysis of this spectral region has to deal with complex non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) effects. A conventional non-LTE retrieval approach using ab initio vibrational temperatures cannot be applied due to rotational and spin-orbit non-LTE of NO in the thermosphere, and the dependence of NO state populations on the NO abundance itself caused by chemical excitations. An innovative non-LTE retrieval method enabling the treatment of vibrational, rotational, and spin non-LTE as well as a dependence of the non-LTE state distribution on the retrieval target quantities has thus been developed for the MIPAS data analysis. The ability of the developed non-LTE inversion tool to retrieve NO abundance profiles, thermospheric temperature profiles, and NO mean production rates by NO2 photolysis in the stratosphere and N+O2 combination in the thermosphere is demonstrated by means of a feasibility study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-405
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Upprättat; 2002; 20150228 (javmar)



  • Nitric oxide
  • Non-LTE
  • Remote sensing
  • Retrieval
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Rymd- och flygteknik


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