Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The hydroxyl radicalOH is one of the most important, but yet least investigated, atmospheric species. For an improved understanding of its strong involvement in stratospheric chemistry, more data is needed which provides concentrations ofOh and related species at any latitude, longitude, season and day of time. This requirement can not be fulfilled by existing stratospheric sensors Balloon-borne sensors provide data up to 40km, yet they are subject to the typical restrictions for balloon operation, while airborne in-situ measurements are limited by the maximum altitude of the aircraft. In this study it is shown, that an airborne Far Infrared heterodyne receiver is able to meet the need for a versatile stratosphericOH sensor. Based on both the high spectral resolution and sensitivity of heterodyne receivers and the availability of airborne heterodyne technology it will be shown that this instrument is capable of retrieving data with the greatly expanded spatial and temporal coverage required. When operated on a standard aircraft at an altitude of 12km, the heterodyne receiver can retrieve concentration profiles from above the flight altitude with a typical altitude resolution of 5 to 7km.
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