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In december 2001 the SAGE III experiment was successfully launched. The NASA science team of the SAGE III experiment has announced the Koldewey-Station in Ny-Aalesund as "anchor site" for validation, especially for such parameters as optical depth, aerosol extinction profiles and ozone profiles. Because of time coincidence NASA apprechiates support for the prospected validation activities for ENVISAT. This should be also considered as contribution to the NASA accepted project "Ground based Validation of SAGE III by the NDSC Primary Station at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen" for SOLVE-2.
In preparation to the launch of the SAGE III experiment in March 2001, NASA and the European Union performed the SOLVE / THESEO-2000 campaign, which had three components: (i) an aircraft campaign using the NASA DC-8 and ER-2 airplanes out of Kiruna/Sweden, (ii) launches of large stratospheric research balloons from Kiruna, (iii) validation excercises for the commissioning phase of SAGE III. The German Arctic research station Koldewey in Ny-Ålesund/Spitsbergen contributes to (i), (ii), and (iii) by performing measurements of stratospheric components like ozone, trace gases, aerosols (PSCs), temperature and winds. The measurement results were transmitted quasi online to the flight planning center in Kiruna, in order to allow a better directing of the air plane flights. In addition the Koldewey-Station has been designated a validation anchor site for the SAGE III validation. The activities are organized within a NASA accepted proposal of ground-based validation support by the NDSC Primary Station at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen and by a SAGE III validation working group for Ny-Ålesund. The main observation periods are from December 1999 to March 2000.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) Bi-spectral Infrared Detection (BIRD) small satellite is a technology demonstrator of new infrared push-broom sensors dedicated to recognition and quantitative characterisation of thermal processes on the Earth surface. BIRD was successfully piggy-back launched on October 22, 2001 with an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C3) into a circular sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 572 km and a North - South local equator crossing time at 10:30 h. Besides cameras working in the visible and near infrared spectral range there are two cameras working in the middle infrared (MIR, 3.4 – 4.2 µm) and in the thermal spectral range (TIR, 8.5 – 9.3 µm) respectively. The objective is to validate these two cameras in cooperation with the Koldewey-Station in Ny-Ålesund. Therefore meteorological and aerological data as well as radiation measuring data will be used.
The aim of the project is to perform solar and lunar absorption measurements of atmospheric trace gases for the valdation of the SCIAMACHY satellite. Besides the routine observations within the NDSC it is planned to perform more intense measurements, especially during the satellite overpasses.
Quasi-continuous observation of several atmospheric species are performed by measuring the absorption of visible and near ultraviolet sunlight scattered from the sky or in direct moonlight. Column abundance of molecules such as ozone, NO2, OClO, NO3, BrO, HCHO and IO are derived by means of a Differential Optical Absorption (DOAS) algorithm and a radiative transfer model. These activities are part of calibration and validation studies of different satellite experiments (GOME, SAGE III, SCIAMACHY). Since 1999 the instrument is part of the Network of the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC). The instrument has been installed in 1995 as the second UV/vis instrument from the Institute of Environmental Physics. One similar setup in Bremen is continuously running with the exception of short maintenance breaks since 1993.
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).
Microwave radiometers are part of the standard instrumentation at primary NDSC stations and are due to their long-term stability and self calibrating technique especially useful for monitoring purposes. Altitude profiles are retrieved from the shape of the pressure broadened thermally induced emission line of the observed species. The instruments for the observation of stratospheric ozone, chlorine monoxide and water vapour at the Koldewey Station in Ny-Ålesund were developed at the University of Bremen and upgrades and improvements are regularly carried out. The instruments have been automated during recent years and ozone and water vapour observation on Spitsbergen are carried out all year round. Chlorine monoxide is only observed in late winter and early spring, when enhanced concentrations in the lower stratosphere are to be expected. Routine operation and maintenance are done by the station engineer. Data analysis is carried out at the University of Bremen.
The Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) is a cooperative network of surface radiation budget. Measurement stations operated by various national agencies and universities under the guiding principle set out by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Presently about 15 stations have been established, one of them is Ny-Ålesund. The concept for a Baseline Surface Radiation Network has developed from the needs of both the climate change and satellite validation communities. The aims of the programme are the monitoring of long-term trends in radiation fluxes at the surface and the providing validation data for satellite determinations of the surface radiation budget. The BSRN station Ny-Aalesund was installed in summer 1992 and is regularly operating since August 1992.
SAGE III was successfully launched on 10. Dec. 2001 on a Russian M3 rocket. It provides accurate data of aerosols, water vapour, ozone, and other key parameters of the earth's atmosphere. The science team of the SAGE III experiment at NASA has nominated the Koldewey-Station as an anchor site to contribute within the Data Validation Plan as part of the Operational Surface Networks. Data directly relevant to the SAGE III validation are aerosol measurements by photometers and lidar, as well as temperature measurements and ozone profiling by balloon borne sondes, lidar and microwave radiometer. Data will be provided quasi online for immediate validation tasks.