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Remote Sens. 2013, 5(7), 3397-3414; doi:10.3390/rs5073397
Article

Compact Setup of a Tunable Heterodyne Spectrometer for Infrared Observations of Atmospheric Trace-Gases

1,* , 1
 and
2
1 Physikalisches Institut, University of Cologne, Zuelpicher Strasse 77, D-50937 Cologne, Germany 2 Rhenish Institute of Environmental Research, Department for Planetary Research, University of Cologne, Aachener Strasse 209, D-50931 Cologne, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 April 2013 / Revised: 26 June 2013 / Accepted: 9 July 2013 / Published: 16 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere)
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Abstract

We report on the development and characterization of the new  compact infrared heterodyne receiver, iChips (Infrared Compact Heterodyne Instrument for Planetary Science). It is specially designed for ground-based observations of the terrestrial atmosphere in the mid-infrared wavelength region. Mid-infrared room temperature quantum cascade lasers are implemented into a heterodyne system for the first time. Their tunability allows the instrument to operate in two different modes.  The scanning mode covers a spectral range of few wavenumbers continuously with a resolution of approximately ν/∆ν ≥ 105. This mode allows the determination of the terrestrial atmospheric transmission. The staring mode, applied for observations of single molecular transition features, provides a spectral resolution of ν/∆ν ≥ 107 and a bandwidth of 1.4  GHz.  To demonstrate the instrument's capabilities, initial observations in both modes were performed by measuring the terrestrial transmittance at 7.8 µm (∼ 1,285 cm−1) and by probing terrestrial ozone features at 8.6 µm (∼ 1,160 cm−1), respectively. The receivers characteristics and performance are described.
Keywords: heterodyne; infrared; spectroscopy; atmosphere; transmission; ultra-high resolution; ozone; trace gas; wind heterodyne; infrared; spectroscopy; atmosphere; transmission; ultra-high resolution; ozone; trace gas; wind
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Stangier, T.; Sonnabend, G.; Sornig, M. Compact Setup of a Tunable Heterodyne Spectrometer for Infrared Observations of Atmospheric Trace-Gases. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 3397-3414.

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