Received: 29 Jan 2013 – Discussion started: 14 May 2013
Abstract. This paper presents a sensitivity study performed for trace gases retrieval from synthetic observations by TELIS (TErahertz and submillimeter LImb Sounder) which is a stratospheric balloon-borne cryogenic heterodyne spectrometer. Issues pertaining to hydroxyl radical (OH) retrieval from the far infrared measurements by the 1.8 THz channel are addressed. The study is conducted by a retrieval code PILS (Profile Inversion for Limb Sounding) developed to solve the nonlinear inverse problems arising in the analysis of infrared/microwave limb sounding measurements. PILS combines a line-by-line forward model with automatic differentiation for computing Jacobians and employs regularized nonlinear least squares inversion. We examine the application of direct and iterative regularization methods and evaluate the performance of single- and multi-profile retrievals. Sensitivities to expected errors in calibration procedure, instrumental knowledge and atmospheric profiles have been analyzed. Nonlinearity effect, inaccurate sideband ratio, and pointing error turned out to be the dominant error sources. Furthermore, the capability of multi-channel simultaneous retrieval from the far infrared and submillimeter data has been investigated. The errors and averaging kernels infer that the quality of the obtained hydrogen chloride (HCl) can be improved by significantly better exploitation of information from the observations.
How to cite. Xu, J., Schreier, F., Vogt, P., Doicu, A., and Trautmann, T.: A sensitivity study for far infrared balloon-borne limb emission sounding of stratospheric trace gases, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst. Discuss., 3, 251–303, https://doi.org/10.5194/gid-3-251-2013, 2013.