OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 12 — Apr. 20, 1999
  • pp: 2398–2409

Derivation of temperature and pressure from submillimetric limb observations

Massimo Carlotti and Marco Ridolfi  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 12, pp. 2398-2409 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (269 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We demonstrate the feasibility of retrieval of temperature and pressure profiles from spaceborne limb-sounding spectroscopic measurements in the submillimetric region. Whether these profiles can be retrieved determines whether a submillimetric instrument can be self-sufficient as far as the atmospheric model is concerned or whether complementary sensors in other spectral regions, dedicated to temperature and pressure measurements, are needed. Molecular-oxygen transitions are selected for the purpose of temperature and pressure retrieval on the basis of realistic observational parameters. We use a mathematical model of the retrieval process to evaluate the information content of the spectral features and to study the trade-off between the uncertainty of the retrieved profiles and their vertical resolution. It is shown that, using only one oxygen transition and without any constraint, one can achieve uncertainties of 5% for both temperature and pressure from 10 to ∼40 km of altitude with a vertical resolution of 3 km; above 40 km the vertical resolution needs to be degraded to limit the uncertainties. The possibility of exploiting a priori information is discussed, as well as the effects of external constraints that can be used to improve the quality of the retrieved profiles. The sources of systematic error that need to be considered for the compilation of the total error budget are also evaluated.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(010.1280) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric composition
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(280.0280) Remote sensing and sensors : Remote sensing and sensors
(300.6310) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, heterodyne

Original Manuscript: September 11, 1998
Revised Manuscript: December 7, 1998
Published: April 20, 1999

Massimo Carlotti and Marco Ridolfi, "Derivation of temperature and pressure from submillimetric limb observations," Appl. Opt. 38, 2398-2409 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. Buehler, A. von Engeln, K. Kuenzi, B. M. Sinnhuber, J. Urban, R. Siddans, B. J. Kerridge, W. J. Reburn, R. Peter, K. Arzner, “The retrieval of data from sub-millimeter limb sounding,” (30September1998).
  2. M. Carlotti, “Global fit approach to the analysis of limb-scanning atmospheric measurements,” Appl. Opt. 27, 3250–3254 (1988). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. M. Carlotti, B. Carli, “Approach to the design and data analysis of a limb-scanning experiment,” Appl. Opt. 33, 3237–3249 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. R. E. Kalman, “Algebraic aspects of the generalized inverse of a rectangular matrix,” in Proceedings of the Advanced Seminar on Generalized Inverse and Applications, M. Z. Nashed, ed. (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 1976), pp. 111–124.
  5. L. S. Rothman, R. R. Gamache, A. Goldman, L. R. Brown, R. A. Toth, H. M. Pickett, R. L. Poynter, J.-M. Flaud, C. Camy-Peyret, A. Barbe, N. Husson, C. P. Rinsland, M. A. H. Smith, “HITRAN database: 1986 edition,” Appl. Opt. 26, 4058–4097 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. C. D. Rodgers, “Retrieval of atmospheric temperature and composition from remote measurements of thermal radiation,” Rev. Geophys. Space Phys. 14, 609–624 (1976). [CrossRef]
  7. J. W. Waters, “Microwave limb-sounding of Earth’s upper atmosphere,” Atmos. Res. 23, 391–410 (1989). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited