Error Analysis of an Aircraft-Mounted Backscatter Ultraviolet Experiment

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  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721
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Abstract

An experiment has been proposed to measure the zenith sky intensity and directly transmitted solar flux density at several wavelengths in the near ultraviolet from an aircraft platform located at about 15 km. From these measurements, the vertical distribution of ozone above the platform is to be inferred, by inversion of the equation of radiative transfer.

The present study is an analysis of the errors to be expected in a real experiment, due to atmospheric fluctuations, numerical procedures, and ignorance of various parameters necessary for the calculation of the intensities and fluxes to be expected. These errors are found to vary from 17% at the shorter wavelengths to about 3% at the longer wavelengths used.

It is shown elsewhere (Twomey et al., 1977) that unacceptable levels of instability and non-uniqueness of results will be found if the error levels in the measurements upon which we wish to invert exceed 3%. On the basis of this, it is concluded that with the present instrumentation and the present knowledge of necessary ancillary parameters, this experiment will not be feasible.

Abstract

An experiment has been proposed to measure the zenith sky intensity and directly transmitted solar flux density at several wavelengths in the near ultraviolet from an aircraft platform located at about 15 km. From these measurements, the vertical distribution of ozone above the platform is to be inferred, by inversion of the equation of radiative transfer.

The present study is an analysis of the errors to be expected in a real experiment, due to atmospheric fluctuations, numerical procedures, and ignorance of various parameters necessary for the calculation of the intensities and fluxes to be expected. These errors are found to vary from 17% at the shorter wavelengths to about 3% at the longer wavelengths used.

It is shown elsewhere (Twomey et al., 1977) that unacceptable levels of instability and non-uniqueness of results will be found if the error levels in the measurements upon which we wish to invert exceed 3%. On the basis of this, it is concluded that with the present instrumentation and the present knowledge of necessary ancillary parameters, this experiment will not be feasible.

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