1Earth observation, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
2Organization of Russian Academy of Sciences A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics RAS, Moscow, Russia
3LATMOS, Université Versailles Saint-Quentin; CNRS/INSU, Verrières-le-Buisson, France
4Institut d'Aeronomie Spatiale de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
Abstract. Stellar light passing through the Earth atmosphere is affected by refractive effects, which should be taken into account in retrievals from stellar occultation measurements. Scintillation caused by air density irregularities is a nuisance for retrievals of atmospheric composition. In this paper, we consider the influence of scintillation on stellar occultation measurements and on the quality of ozone retrievals from these measurements, based on experience of the GOMOS (Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars) instrument on board the Envisat satellite.
In GOMOS retrievals, the scintillation effect is corrected using scintillation measurements by the fast photometer. We present quantitative estimates of the current scintillation correction quality and of the impact of scintillation on ozone retrievals by GOMOS. The analysis has shown that the present scintillation correction efficiently removes the distortion of transmission spectra caused by scintillations, which are generated by anisotropic irregularities of air density. The impact of errors of dilution and anisotropic scintillation correction on the quality of ozone retrievals is negligible. However, the current scintillation correction is not able to remove the wavelength-dependent distortion of transmission spectra caused by isotropic scintillations, which can be present in off-orbital-plane occultations. This distortion may result in ozone retrieval errors of 0.5–1.5% at altitudes 20–40 km. This contribution constitutes a significant percentage of the total error for bright stars. The advanced inversion methods that can minimize the influence of scintillation correction error are also discussed.