Level 2 processor and auxiliary data for ESA Version 8 final full mission analysis of MIPAS measurements on ENVISAT

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Main author: 
Raspollini, Piera
IAA authors: 
López-Puertas, Manuel
Raspollini, Piera;Arnone, Enrico;Barbara, Flavio;Bianchini, Massimo;Carli, Bruno;Ceccherini, Simone;Chipperfield, Martyn P.;Dehn, Angelika;Della Fera, Stefano;Dinelli, Bianca Maria;Dudhia, Anu;Flaud, Jean-Marie;Gai, Marco;Kiefer, Michael;López-Puertas, Manuel;Moore, David P.;Piro, Alessandro;Remedios, John J.;Ridolfi, Marco;Sembhi, Harjinder;Sgheri, Luca;Zoppetti, Nicola
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
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High quality long-term data sets of altitude-resolved measurements of the atmospheric composition are important because they can be used both to study the evolution of the atmosphere and as a benchmark for future missions. For the final ESA reprocessing of MIPAS (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding) on ENVISAT (ENViromental SATellite) data, numerous improvements were implemented in the Level 2 (L2) processor Optimised Retrieval Model (ORM) version 8.22 (V8) and its auxiliary data. The implemented changes involve all aspects of the processing chain, from the modelling of the measurements with the handling of the horizontal inhomogeneities along the line of sight to the use of the optimal estimation technique to retrieve the minor species, from a more sensitive approach to detecting the spectra affected by clouds to a refined method for identifying low quality products. Improvements in the modelling of the measurements were also obtained with an update of the used spectroscopic data and of the databases providing the a priori knowledge of the atmosphere. The HITRAN_mipas_pf4.45 spectroscopic database was finalised with new spectroscopic data verified with MIPAS measurements themselves, while recently measured cross-sections were used for the heavy molecules. The Level 2 Initial Guess (IG2) data set, containing the climatology used by the MIPAS L2 processor to generate the initial guess and interfering species profiles when the retrieved profiles from previous scans are not available, was improved taking into account the diurnal variation of the profiles defined using climatologies from both measurements and models. Horizontal gradients were generated using the ECMWF ERA-Interim data closest in time and space to the MIPAS data. Further improvements in the L2 V8 products derived from the use of the L1b V8 products, which were upgraded to reduce the instrumental temporal drift and to handle the abrupt changes in the calibration gain. The improvements introduced into the ORM V8 L2 processor and its upgraded auxiliary data, together with the use of the L1b V8 products, lead to the generation of the MIPAS L2 V8 products, which are characterised by an increased accuracy, better temporal stability and a greater number of retrieved species.
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