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Seven years of data quality of the ENVISAT Atmospheric-Chemistry missions: highlights, lessons learned and perspectives

Fabrizio Niro(1), Angelika Dehn(1), Lidia Saavedra de Miguel(1), Thorsten Fehr(2), Henri Laur(2), Pascal Lecomte(2), Miguel Canela(3), Roland Gessner(4), Gaetan Perron(5), Piera Raspollini(6), Gilbert Barrot(7), Heinrich Bovensmann(8) and Manfred Gottwald(9)

(1) Serco S.p.A., Via Sciadonna, 24, 00044, Frascati, Italy
(2) ESA-ESRIN, Via Galileo Galilei, 00044, Frascati, Italy
(3) ESA-ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, Netherlands
(4) EADS Astrium, Friedrichshafen, 88039 Friedrichshafen, Germany
(5) ABB BOMEM, Québec, Québec G1K9H4, Canada
(6) IFAC, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
(7) ACRI-ST, Route du Pin Montard 260, 06904 Sophia-Antipolis, France
(8) IFE/University of Bremen, Bremen, 28334 Bremen, Germany
(9) DLR-IMF, Münchner Str. 20, 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract

The ENVISAT atmospheric chemistry instruments (GOMOS, MIPAS and SCIAMACHY) provide to the user community three separated, but complementary datasets of the most interesting trace gases, spanning a time interval of about seven years. With the project of extending the ENVISAT lifetime up to the end of 2013, the users will have the unique opportunity to investigate seasonal trend and long term evolution of several atmospheric phenomena over a time range of eleven years. ESA is responsible to provide to the science community the best available products with a well defined standard of quality. The operational processing and the certification of products quality are essential in order to ensure the readiness and the value of the resultant scientific studies. The present paper will give a historical overview of the activities performed in the frame of the data processing and quality assessment applied to the ENVISAT Atmospheric-Chemistry instruments. The significance of these activities for the scientific use of the ESA products will be specifically underlined. Highlights of the quality assessment process will be presented, that is to say, examples where significant data quality degradation was prevented due to a timely detection of instrument or processing anomalies. Furthermore the improvements of the monitoring and calibration baseline all along the mission will be mentioned that had a beneficial effect on the in-flight operations stability as on the data processing quality. Finally the evolution of the quality assessment methods will be described that will allow efficiently including new atmospheric missions in the existing monitoring baseline, e.g.: ESA third party missions.