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Monitoring of the Stratosphere with SCIAMACHY Measurements of Limb-Scattered Solar Radiation

Christian von Savigny(1), Alexei Rozanov(1), Heinrich Bovensmann(1), Astrid Bracher(1), Kai-Uwe Eichmann(1), Guenter Rohen(1), Heiko Schroeter(1), Paul Ulasi(1), Marco Vountas(1) and John P. Burrows(1)

(1) University of Bremen, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, 28334 Bremen, Germany


The Scanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) on the Envisat spacecraft is an 8-channel UV/visible/NIR grating spectrometer measuring scattered, transmitted and/or reflected solar radiation in Nadir, Occultation and Limb-geometry. The Limb-scattering geometry – the focus of this contribution – allows retrievals of stratospheric profiles of several minor constituents with good vertical resolution (about 3 km) and near-global geographical coverage.

Scientific data processors for the retrieval of stratospheric profiles of O3, NO2, BrO and within the polar vortex also OClO, were developed at the Institute of Environmental Physics in Bremen. O3 and NO2 are retrieved between 15 and 40 km altitude. In terms of BrO the 15 – 30 km altitude range is covered. For O3 a separate upper stratospheric/lower mesospheric retrieval is available covering the 35 – 65 km altitude range. The retrieval results are graphically provided to the public via the scia-arc web-interface ( as value-added data products. Apart from the minor constituent profiles SCIAMACHY provides PSC (polar stratospheric cloud) maps, which are also available on the scia-arc website.

In this contribution an overview of the stratospheric applications of SCIAMACHY Limb-Scatter measurements including the data retrieval processors, their error budgets and validation results is presented. Furthermore, scientific mission highlights and data usage examples will be presented.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry