Articles | Volume 8, issue 21
06 Nov 2008
 | 06 Nov 2008

Retrieval of stratospheric aerosol size information from OSIRIS limb scattered sunlight spectra

A. E. Bourassa, D. A. Degenstein, and E. J. Llewellyn

Abstract. Recent work has shown that the retrieval of stratospheric aerosol vertical profiles is possible using limb scattered sunlight measurements at optical wavelengths. The aerosol number density profile is retrieved for an assumed particle size distribution and composition. This result can be used to derive the extinction at the measured wavelength. However, large systematic error can result from the uncertainty in the assumed size distribution when the result is used to estimate the extinction at other wavelengths. It is shown in this work that the addition of information obtained from the near infrared limb radiance profile at 1530 nm measured by the imaging module of the OSIRIS instrument yields an indication of the aerosol size distribution profile that can be used to improve the fidelity of the retrievals. A comparison of the estimated extinction profile at 1020 nm with two coincident occultation measurements demonstrates agreement to within approximately 15% from 12 to 27 km altitude.

Final-revised paper