ESA Earth Home Missions Data Products Resources Applications
EO Data Access
How to Apply
How to Access
Site Map
Frequently asked questions
Terms of use
Contact us



Upper Tropospheric Measurements of Biomass Burning Emissions with the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) Fourier Transform Spectrometer

Curtis Rinsland(1), Peter Bernath(2), Chris Boone(3), Cathy Clerbaux(4) and Solène Turquety(4)

(1) NASA Langley Research Center, , Hampton, Virginia, U.S.A., United States
(2) University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue, N2L 3G1 , Canada
(3) University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West , N2L 3G1 , Canada
(4) Service d’Aéronomie, Université Paris 6, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France


The ACE (Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment), also known as SCISAT-1, was launched on 12 August 2003 into a 74° inclined orbit by a U.S.-supplied Pegasus XL at 650 km altitude. The small Canadian-designed and built satellite contains three instruments with a shared field of view with the primary goal of recording high resolution atmospheric spectra taking advantage of the high precision of the solar occultation technique. The primary instrument is an infrared Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) that records solar spectra below an altitude of 150 km at a spectral resolution of 0.02 cm-1 (maximum optical path difference of ±25 cm) from 750 to 4400 cm-1. The instrument is self-calibrating as low Sun solar occultation spectra are divided by exoatmospheric solar spectra from the same occultation. The ACE orbit yields tropical to high latitude occultations in both hemispheres with a vertical resolution of 3-4 km. We summarize studies of upper tropospheric CO, C2H6, HCN, CH3Cl, and CH4 from northern hemisphere high latitudes (50°N-70°N) recorded between June 29 and July 24, 2004, most likely resulting from increased fire emissions in Alaska and western Canada during that time. Elevated upper tropospheric CO, C2H6, HCN, and C2H2 were also measured at 15°S-45°S latitude between 30 September and 3 November 2004. We use other satellite measurements (MODIS fire counts and MOPITT CO and back trajectory calculations) to verify our interpreation of the ACE measurements. ACE measurements provide mixing ratios of constituents with a range of lifetimes with results of interest to modelers to study outflow and transport of source emissions and transport to the upper troposphere.


Workshop presentation

Full paper

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