The Suitability of the IASI Instrument for Observing CO from Space

S.M. Illingworth

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    81 Downloads (Pure)


    This thesis presents a methodological approach to developing the capability of theInfrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) instrument to inform on theatmospheric concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), focussing on three key studies: 1) an assessment of the radiometric accuracy of the instrument; 2) the development of the University of Leicester IASI Retrieval Scheme (ULIRS) to convert measured radiances into a CO product; and 3) an investigation into the reliability and possible use of the ULIRS product.An intercomparison between the radiances as measured by the IASI and AdvancedAlong Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) instruments is performed, and absolutedifferences at 11 micron of less than 0.1 K are observed. Given the radiometric behaviour across the IASI instrument as a whole, it is also concluded that the IASI instrument is radiometrically accurate to <0.3 K in the 12 and 4:7 micron spectral regions.A retrieval scheme, the ULIRS, is developed with explicit digital elevation and emis-sivity information, and a correction for solar surface reflection with a high resolutionsolar spectrum. Typical random errors over the African region relating to the profilesare found to be ~10% at 5 and 12 km, and on the total columns to be ~12 %.The ULIRS dataset and the operational CO products from the Measurements OfPollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) are inter-compared. A methodology whichuses the same a priori statistics, and which reduces the smoothing bias between thetwo sets of data shows that there is only a small bias between the ULIRS and MOPITT V4 products. A simplified top-down approach to estimating CO emissions from fires is also presented, highlighting the need for a better understanding of the correct detection of burnt area from space-based measurements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Leicester
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • CO, Satellites, IASI, Remote Sensing, MOPITT, AATSR, Atmospheric Physics, Biomass Burning


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