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The FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) has been established as a powerful tool for measurements of atmospheric trace gases. Using the sun or moon as light source, between 20-30 trace gases of the tropo- and stratosphere can be detected by their absorption features. The analysis of the spectra allows to retrieve the total zenith columns of the trace gases. For a few trace gases the pressure broadening of the lines allows to get additionally some information on the vertical concentration profiles. Some important trace gases cannot be detected in the IR but in the UV/VIS. This makes it useful to record the whole spectral region from the IR from about 700/cm (14 µm) to the UV at 33000/cm (300 nm).
In recent years, much attention has been directed towards understandig the effects of aerosols on a variety of processes in the earth atmosphere. Aerosols play an integral role in limiting visibility, they serve as nuclei for the formation of fog and cloud droplets, they affect the earth radiative budget, and thus climate, both directly and indirectly, and they inhibit the propagation of electromagnetic radiation. The Arctic aerosols, especially Arctic Haze and tropospheric ice crystals possible have important climatic and ecological and global change implications. Since 1991 Sun photometer observations of the polar atmopheric aerosol have been performed at the Koldewey Station in Ny-Aalesund, Spitzbergen. In order to complete the coverage and quality of measurements during the polar night a high sensitive Star photometer is installed since January 1996. Both measurements, the daylight Sun photometer measurements and night Star photometer measurements will be continued.
A tropospheric lidar system with a Nd:YAG-Laser was installed at the Koldewey-Station in 1998. It operates at a laser wavelengths of 355, 532, and 1064 nm with detection at 532 nm polarised and depolarised, and at Raman wavelengths like 607nm (nitrogen). It records profiles of aerosol content, aerosol depolarisation and aerosol extinction. During polar night the profils reach from the ground up to the tropopause level, while during polar day background light reduces the altitude range. The main goal of the investigations is to determine the climate impact of arctic aerosol. Analysis of the climate impact will be performed by a high resolution regional model run at the Alfred Wegener Institute (HIRHAM). The lidar system is capable to obtain water vapour profiles in the troposphere. Water vapour profiles are crucial for the understanding of the formation of aerosols. The water vapour profiles are also used for the validation of profiles measured by the CHAMP satellite from 2001 onwards.