[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 4, No. 1B (1997) 240-245]

Measurement of Atmospheric NO2 Column Density with Kitt Peak Solar Flux Atlas as a Reference

Jian Guo NIU, Yasushi SAKURADA, Hiroaki KUZE and Nobuo TAKEUCHI

Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University, 1-33, Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263, Japan

(Received July 3, 1996; Accepted December 6, 1996)

The vertical column abundance of NO2 is measured using direct sunlight. The solar spectra in the wavelength region of 430-450 nm observed from the earth's surface are ratioed with a reference spectrum taken from the Kitt Peak Solar Flux Atlas. The large Fraunhofer features (20-40%) are eliminated by wavelength correction, resolution matching and ratioing of observed spectra to the reference. The retrieved values of the NO2 vertical column density are in a range of (2-15)×1016 molecules/cm2 with an accuracy of better than 3%. This result demonstrates the usefulness of the Kitt Peak Atlas in the study of tropospheric NO2 concentration, giving a standard extraterrestrial solar spectrum for the case in which the Langley method is not readily applicable.

Key words : nitrogen dioxide, vertical column density, extraterrestrial solar spectrum, urban air pollution