Ozone and water vapor measurements by Raman lidar in the planetary boundary layer

The temporal and spatial retrieve of ozone (O3) concentration and water vapor (H2O) mixing ratio in the troposphere is of essential interest. Contrary to the stratospheric case, the tropospheric ozone can have a harmful impact, with its toxic effect, on humans and vegetation, accelerating the degradation of the minerals and participating in the green-house problem. Concerning the water vapor, knowledge of its highly variable concentration is essential to both the chemistry of the troposphere (O(1D) + H2O —> 2 OH) where it participates, among others, in the generation of the hydroxyl radical (OH) and to the meteorology. Water vapor is the dominant green-house gas, it plays an important role in the atmospheric chemistry. The conversion and transport of water in the atmosphere is the essential point in the earth's radiation budget. Due to the complexity and the non-linearity of the air pollution system including emissions, chemistry, thermal radiation, transport and deposition, pollution abatement strategies can only be designed rightly by the use of a three-dimensional mesoscale Eulerian photochemical transport model. To check such models, measurement campaigns are undertaken, in which many physical (wind, temperature, H2O, etc.) and chemical parameters (emissions and imissions) are measured at different parts of the atmosphere. LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging), which is a real-time method for measuring air pollutants in situ, is one of the best tools to make 3-D measurements of gases concentrations like O3, H2O and others. Contrary to the ground based measurements that are highly sensitive to the very local conditions, lidar sensitivity and resolution in space and time is optimal to obtain measurements and to compare or give some input data for the models. During the last thirty years, (elastic backscatter) Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) has been established as a convenient tool for the monitoring of the three dimensional real time concentrations of air pollutants [Measures, 1992], [Schoulepnikoff et al., 1998]. But the DIAL apparatus has shown limitations: — the operation in layers with high aerosol loading like in the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) where they are highly variable — the simultaneous detection of several atmospheric components or pollutants is impossible [Bösenberg, 1996] — the detection at short range is difficult due to the high dynamics. Furthermore, due to its spectrum and the strong influence from other elements, the water vapor can not be easily measured in the UV with classical DIAL systems. The goal of this work was to develop a method to simultaneously measure the ozone absolute concentration and the water vapor mixing ratio in the PBL. Experiments with Nd : YAG and KrF lasers were made and utilization of both analog and photon counting techniques, increasing the dynamic range, were investigated. To retrieve the ozone concentration profile, we take advantage of the simultaneous spontaneous Raman backscattering on the molecules of nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) that have different ozone absorption cross-sections. Thus with a modified DIAL technique, the ozone concentration can be measured without most of the interference from poorly known backscatter by particles. Water vapor mixing ratio profile can also be obtained with a set of three Raman backscattered signals, simultaneously detected, from the molecules of H2O, N2 and O2. The main advantage of this Raman system is its essential independence to the wavelength dependent backscatter problems as induced by aerosols, and the fact that the N2 and O2 concentrations are well known as well as the Raman cross-sections of interest. Although the Raman cross-sections are two or three orders of magnitude lower than the elastic backscattering cross-sections, they are compensated by the proportionally much higher concentrations of O2, N2 and H2O compared to trace gases like O3. The development of the Raman — DIAL method for atmospheric measurements in the PBL presents several challenges. One is the development of highly-sensitive lidar systems, in particular the optical receiver, the spectrometer and the signal acquisition for the Raman part of the Raman-DIAL system. Also the data processing procedure for simultaneous evaluation of the ozone and the water vapor profiles. Both of these challenges present a number of issues, theoretical and practical, that are investigated in the frame of this work.

    Thèse École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, n° 2351 (2001)
    Faculté de l'environnement naturel, architectural et construit
    Institut de génie de l'environnement
    Jury: Iouri Archinov, François Golay, René Monot, Valentin Simeonov, Hubert van den Bergh, Bernard Vittoz

    Public defense: 2001-3-16


    Record created on 2005-03-16, modified on 2016-08-08

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