Typical inversion of limb-sounding measurements assumes local horizontal homogeneity of the atmosphere. This simplification corresponds to spectral radiance errors that can exceed the noise level of a typical infrared instrument by a factor of 10 and causes errors in retrieved state parameters. To avoid these errors and to take the horizontal structure of the atmosphere into account, a two-dimensional (2D) tomographic sequential estimation approach is described. Application to temperature retrievals from simulated measurements yields typical retrieval errors of the order of 1 K, and a one-dimensional retrieval with the same synthetic measurements shows differences to the true values up to 10 K in regions with strong horizontal inhomogeneities. The horizontal resolution of the 2D retrieval is even better (up to 40 km) than the horizontal tangent point spacing.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(000.3860) General : Mathematical methods in physics
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(280.0280) Remote sensing and sensors : Remote sensing and sensors
(300.6340) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, infrared
Tilman Steck, Michael Höpfner, Thomas von Clarmann, and Udo Grabowski, "Tomographic retrieval of atmospheric parameters from infrared limb emission observations," Appl. Opt. 44, 3291-3301 (2005)