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The project will provide a long-term, pseudo-global validation support to the ENVISAT-1 atmospheric measurements, based on mutually consistent high-quality solar and lunar observations from FTIR spectrometers operated at primary and a number of complementary NDSC stations. The validation is limited to a number of target species, most of which are primary NRT or OL level-2 products of the mission, with focus on NOy components: O3, NO2, NO, N2O, HNO3, HNO4, H2CO, CO and CH4. Synergistic use will be made of column and profile data from MIPAS, GOMOS and SCIAMACHY. The ground network will deliver mean vertical column abundances for all target species with NDSC-type quality, and height profile information for some target gases as secondary products to the PI's home institute, where the correlative analyses with the ENVISAT-1 products will be done. Asynoptic mapping tools will support the validation efforts.
The main specific objectives of UFTIR are: (1) To revise and homogenise the analyses of available experimental data for providing consistent time series of distinct tropospheric and stratospheric abundances of the target gases using new inversion algorithms. A common strategy for retrieval and characterisation of the vertical distributions of the target gases from FTIR ground-based measurements will be established. (2) To provide quantitative trends and associated uncertainties for the target gases over about the last decade, as a function of latitude throughout Western Europe, focusing on the troposphere. (3) To integrate the data in model assessments of the evolutions of tropospheric abundances. The measured burden and changes of the tropospheric gases will be compared with 3D model simulations, in order to help developing the latter, assist in explaining potential causes for the observed changes and to assess the consistencies between the trends at the surface to the free troposphere and lowermost stratosphere, and the agreement with known evolutions of emissions. UFTIR will make the community prepared to deliver tropospheric data for validation and synergistic exploitation of new satellite experiments like ENVISAT.