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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2, 713-723, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
16 Nov 2009
Broadband Cavity Enhanced Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (CE-DOAS) – applicability and corrections
U. Platt1, J. Meinen1,2, D. Pöhler1, and T. Leisner1,2 1Inst. for Environmental Physics (IUP), Atmosphere and Remote Sensing, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
2Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Aerosols and Heterogeneous Chemistry in the Atmosphere (IMK-AAF), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Germany
Abstract. Atmospheric trace gas measurements by cavity assisted long-path absorption spectroscopy are an emerging technology. An interesting approach is the combination of CEAS with broadband light sources, the broadband CEAS (BB-CEAS). BB-CEAS lends itself to the application of the DOAS technique to analyse the derived absorption spectra. While the DOAS approach has enormous advantages in terms of sensitivity and specificity of the measurement, an important implication is the reduction of the light path by the trace gas absorption, since cavity losses due to absorption by gases reduce the quality (Q) of the cavity. In fact, at wavelength, where the quality of the BB-CEAS cavity is dominated by the trace gas absorption (especially at very high mirror reflectivity), the average light path will vary nearly inversely with the trace gas concentration and the strength of the band will become only weakly dependent on the trace gas concentration c in the cavity, (the differential optical density being proportional to the logarithm of the trace gas concentration). Only in the limiting case where the mirror reflectivity determines Q at all wavelength, the strength of the band as seen by the CE-DOAS instrument becomes directly proportional to the concentration c. We investigate these relationships in detail and present methods to correct for the cases between the two above extremes, which are of course the important ones in practice.
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Citation: Platt, U., Meinen, J., Pöhler, D., and Leisner, T.: Broadband Cavity Enhanced Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (CE-DOAS) – applicability and corrections, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2, 713-723,, 2009.
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