BIRA IASB

Brussels, Belgium

BIRA IASB

Brussels, Belgium
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Bolsee D.,BIRA IASB | Pereira N.,BIRA IASB | Decuyper W.,BIRA IASB | Gillotay D.,BIRA IASB | And 7 more authors.
Solar Physics | Year: 2014

We describe an instrument dedicated to measuring the top of atmosphere (TOA) solar spectral irradiance (SSI) in the near-infrared (NIR) between 600 nm and 2300 nm at a resolution of 10 nm. Ground-based measurements are performed through atmospheric NIR windows and the TOA SSI values are extrapolated using the Bouguer-Langley technique. The interest in this spectral range arises because it plays a main role in the Earth's radiative budget and also because it is employed to validate models used in solar physics. Moreover, some differences were observed between recent ground-based and space-based instruments that take measurements in the NIR and the reference SOLSPEC(ATLAS3) spectrum. In the 1.6 μm region, the deviations vary from 6 % to 10 %. Our measuring system named IRSPERAD has been designed by Bentham (UK) and has been radiometrically characterized and absolutely calibrated against a blackbody at the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy and at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (Germany), respectively. A four-month measurement campaign was carried out at the Izaña Atmospheric Observatory (Canary Islands, 2367 m a.s.l.). A set of top-quality solar measurements was processed to obtain the TOA SSI in the NIR windows. We obtained an average standard uncertainty of 1 % for 0.8 μm<λ<2.3 μm. At 1.6 μm, corresponding to the minimum opacity of the solar photosphere, we obtained an irradiance of 234.31±1.29 mWm-2nm-1. Between 1.6 μm and 2.3 μm, our measurements show a disagreement varying from 6 % to 8 % relative to ATLAS3, which is not explained by the declared standard uncertainties of the two experiments. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Inness A.,ECMWF | Baier F.,German Aerospace Center | Benedetti A.,ECMWF | Bouarar I.,University of Versailles | And 32 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2013

An eight-year long reanalysis of atmospheric composition data covering the period 2003-2010 was constructed as part of the FP7-funded Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate project by assimilating satellite data into a global model and data assimilation system. This reanalysis provides fields of chemically reactive gases, namely carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen oxides, and formaldehyde, as well as aerosols and greenhouse gases globally at a horizontal resolution of about 80 km for both the troposphere and the stratosphere. This paper describes the assimilation system for the reactive gases and presents validation results for the reactive gas analysis fields to document the data set and to give a first indication of its quality. Tropospheric CO values from the MACC reanalysis are on average 10-20% lower than routine observations from commercial aircrafts over airports through most of the troposphere, and have larger negative biases in the boundary layer at urban sites affected by air pollution, possibly due to an underestimation of CO or precursor emissions. Stratospheric ozone fields from the MACC reanalysis agree with ozonesondes and ACE-FTS data to within ±10% in most seasons and regions. In the troposphere the reanalysis shows biases of -5% to +10% with respect to ozonesondes and aircraft data in the extratropics, but has larger negative biases in the tropics. Area-averaged total column ozone agrees with ozone fields from a multi-sensor reanalysis data set to within a few percent. NO2 fields from the reanalysis show the right seasonality over polluted urban areas of the NH and over tropical biomass burning areas, but underestimate wintertime NO2 maxima over anthropogenic pollution regions and overestimate NO2 in northern and southern Africa during the tropical biomass burning seasons. Tropospheric HCHO is well simulated in the MACC reanalysis even though no satellite data are assimilated. It shows good agreement with independent SCIAMACHY retrievals over regions dominated by biogenic emissions with some anthropogenic input, such as the eastern US and China, and also over African regions influenced by biogenic sources and biomass burning. © Author(s) 2013.


Schlppi B.,University of Bern | Altwegg K.,University of Bern | Balsiger H.,University of Bern | Hssig M.,University of Bern | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics | Year: 2010

In situ mass spectrometry has been a powerful tool in many space missions to investigate atmospheres and exospheres of different bodies in the solar system. Applying new technologies, the mass spectrometers have become increasingly more sensitive. In this study, we show that spacecraft outgassing, which can never be completely prevented, will be the limiting factor in future missions that investigate very tenuous atmospheres and exospheres of moons, asteroids, or comets at large heliocentric distances. The Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) instrument on the European Space Agency Rosetta mission has monitored spacecraft outgassing for 6 years during the cruise phase with unprecedented instrument sensitivity. It is shown that diffusion of gas from materials and from the spacecraft interior plays an important role in maintaining a relatively permanent thin gas cloud around the spacecraft for many years. The density and composition of this gas cloud depends on location on the spacecraft, maneuvers, and payload activity. The main contaminants are water, which is adsorbed on cold surfaces, and organics from the spacecraft structure, electronics, and insulations. Decomposed lubricant material can give a significant contribution to the total background. Fortunately for Rosetta, outgassing of the spacecraft will play a minor role when the comet is close to perihelion; only in the early phase of the mission the outgassing may be larger than the cometary signature. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


Altwegg K.,University of Bern | Balsiger H.,University of Bern | Calmonte U.,University of Bern | Hassig M.,University of Bern | And 12 more authors.
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2012

During the Rosetta flyby at asteroid Lutetia the ROSINA instrument tried to detect a thin exosphere of the asteroid. Although the instrument is sensitive enough to detect even very tenuous gases at a density level of 1 cm -3 the Lutetia exosphere could not be unambiguously detected due to spacecraft outgassing, which was not constant because of the changing solar aspect angle. An upper limit for a water exosphere density at the flyby distance of 3160 km of (3.5±1.0)×10 3 cm -3 was deduced from the measurements. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Tamminen J.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | Kyrola E.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | Sofieva V.F.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | Laine M.,Finnish Meteorological Institute | And 13 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2010

The Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars (GOMOS) instrument uses stellar occultation technique for monitoring ozone, other trace gases and aerosols in the stratosphere and mesosphere. The self-calibrating measurement principle of GOMOS together with a relatively simple data retrieval where only minimal use of a priori data is required provides excellent possibilities for long-term monitoring of atmospheric composition. GOMOS uses about 180 of the brightest stars as its light source. Depending on the individual spectral characteristics of the stars, the signal-to-noise ratio of GOMOS varies from star to star, resulting also in varying accuracy of retrieved profiles. We present here an overview of the GOMOS data characterisation and error estimation, including modeling errors, for O3, NO2, NO3, and aerosol profiles. The retrieval error (precision) of night-time measurements in the stratosphere is typically 0.5-4% for ozone, about 10-20% for NO2, 20-40% for NO3 and 2-50% for aerosols. Mesospheric O3, up to 100 km, can be measured with 2-10% precision. The main sources of the modeling error are incompletely corrected scintillation, inaccurate aerosol modeling, uncertainties in cross sections of trace gases and in atmospheric temperature. The sampling resolution of GOMOS varies depending on the measurement geometry. In the data inversion a Tikhonov-type regularization with pre-defined target resolution requirement is applied leading to 2-3 km vertical resolution for ozone and 4 km resolution for other trace gases and aerosols. © 2010 Author(s).


Hassig M.,University of Bern | Altwegg K.,University of Bern | Balsiger H.,University of Bern | Berthelier J.J.,LATMOS | And 6 more authors.
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2013

The likelihood that comets may have delivered part of the water to Earth has been reinforced by the recent observation of the earth-like D/H ratio in Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2 by Hartogh et al. (2012). Prior to this observation, results from several Oort cloud comets indicated a factor of 2 enrichment of deuterium relative to the abundance at Earth. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft will encounter comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, another Jupiter-family comet of likely Kuiper belt origin, in 2014 and accompany it from almost aphelion to and past perihelion. Onboard Rosetta is the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) which consists of two mass spectrometers and a pressure sensor (Balsiger et al.; 2007). With its unprecedented mass resolution, for a space-borne instrument, the Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer (DFMS), one of the major subsystems of ROSINA, will be able to obtain unambiguously the ratios of the isotopes in water from in situ measurements in the coma around the comet. In this paper we discuss the performance of this sensor on the basis of measurements of the terrestrial hydrogen and oxygen isotopic ratios performed with the flight spare instrument in the lab. We also show that the instrument on Rosetta is capable of measuring the D/H and the oxygen isotopic ratios even in the very low density water background released by the spacecraft. This capability demonstrates that ROSINA should obtain very accurate isotopic ratios in the cometary environment. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Ceulemans K.,BIRA IASB | Compernolle S.,BIRA IASB | Peeters J.,Catholic University of Leuven | Muller J.-F.,BIRA IASB
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2010

BOREAM, a detailed model for the gas-phase oxidation of α-pinene and its subsequent formation of Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOA), is tested against a large set of SOA yield measurements obtained in dark ozonolysis experiments. For the majority of experiments, modelled SOA yields are found to agree with measured yields to within a factor 2. However, the comparisons point to a general underestimation of modelled SOA yields at high temperatures (above 30 °C), reaching an order of magnitude or more in the worst cases, whereas modelled SOA yields are often overestimated at lower temperature (by a factor of about 2). Comparisons of results obtained using four different vapour pressure prediction methods indicate a strong sensitivity to the choice of the method, although the overestimated temperature dependence of the yields is found in all cases. Accounting for non-ideality of the aerosol mixture (based on an adapted UNIFAC method) has significant effects, especially at low yields. Our simulations show that the formation of oligomers through the gas-phase reactions of Stabilised Criegee Intermediates (SCI) with other molecular organic products could increase the SOA yield significantly only at very low relative humidity (below 1%). Further tests show that the agreement between model and measurements is improved when the ozonolysis mechanism includes additional production of non-volatile compounds. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Gronoff G.,NASA | Wedlund C.S.,BIRA IASB
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science | Year: 2011

The Planeterrella is a space plasma simulator, based on Kristian Birkeland's historical experiment, the Terrella. This device not only makes it possible to simulate interactions between an electrode and a magnetized sphere in many different geometries but also to simulate interactions between two magnetized spheres. Such configurations allow the visualization of phenomena unknown to Birkeland, such as an emitting body (Io) immersed in a magnetosphere (Jupiter) or the aurora on the night side of a planet where one magnetic pole points toward the Sun (Uranus). © 2006 IEEE.


Perot K.,University of Versailles | Hauchecorne A.,University of Versailles | Montmessin F.,University of Versailles | Bertaux J.-L.,University of Versailles | And 3 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2010

GOMOS (Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars), on board the European platform ENVISAT launched in 2002, is a stellar occultation instrument combining four spectrometers and two fast photometers which measure light at 1 kHz sampling rate in the two visible channels 470-520 nm and 650-700 nm. On the day side, GOMOS does not measure only the light from the star, but also the solar light scattered by the atmospheric molecules. In the summer polar days, Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMC) are clearly detected using the photometers signals, as the solar light scattered by the cloud particles in the instrument field of view. The sun-synchronous orbit of ENVISAT allows observing PMC in both hemispheres and the stellar occultation technique ensures a very good geometrical registration. Four years of data, from 2002 to 2006, are analyzed up to now. GOMOS data set consists of approximately 10 000 cloud observations all over the eight PMC seasons studied. The first climatology obtained by the analysis of this data set is presented, focusing on the seasonal and latitudinal coverage, represented by global maps. GOMOS photometers allow a very sensitive PMC detection, showing a frequency of occurrence of 100% in polar regions during the middle of the PMC season. According to this work mesospheric clouds seem to be more frequent in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. The PMC altitude distribution was also calculated. The obtained median values are 82.7 km in the North and 83.2 km in the South.


Drummond R.,BIRA IASB | Vandaele A.-C.,BIRA IASB | Daerden F.,BIRA IASB | Fussen D.,BIRA IASB | And 6 more authors.
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2011

Solar Occultation in the InfraRed (SOIR) is one of three spectrometers of the SPICAV/SOIR instrument suite (Bertaux et al.; 2007b) on board the Venus Express orbiter (VEX). VEX has been in orbit around Venus since April 2006 and to date SOIR has carried out over 674 measurements. Pre-launch and in-orbit performance analyses allow us to predict what SOIR would be capable of at Mars. SOIR spectra through the Martian atmosphere have been simulated with ASIMUT, a line-by-line (LBL) radiative transfer code also used for the retrieval of vertical profiles of atmospheric constituents of Venus (Vandaele et al.; 2008; Bertaux et al.; 2007a). The code takes into account the temperature and pressure vertical profiles as well as those of the atmospheric species, but also the instrument function and the overlapping of the diffraction orders of the echelle grating. We will show these spectra and the detection limits of species that could be studied using a SOIR spectrometer making solar occultation or nadir measurements in Mars orbit. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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