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Airborne Mid-Infrared CAvity enhanced spectrometer

Meteorological tower FZJMeteorological tower FZJ


Of the entire middle atmosphere, the one factor with the most immediate impact on climate is the stratospheric aerosol layer. By scattering part of the incoming solar radiation back to space, stratospheric aerosol has a direct effect on the Earth’s energy balance.
Sulfuric acid represents the largest fraction of the stratospheric aerosol, and variability in the stratospheric aerosol loading is closely linked to varying fluxes of sulfur compounds into the stratosphere. In the absence of large injections of sulfur dioxide (SO₂) into the stratosphere by volcanic eruptions, carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is making the largest contribution to the total sulfur flux from the troposphere to the stratosphere. However, models do not agree on the exact size of this flux. In particular the role of an enhanced flux from biomass burning emissions in the main tropical transport regions has not been quantified. One reason is the lack of high resolution OCS observations in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS).
AMICA is a newly developed spectrometer that will carry out high resolution OCS measurements during aircraft campaigns to improve our understanding of the contribution of OCS to the stratospheric aerosol layer.
Prototype instruments with the same measurement principle (MICA, FGGA, CCIA) have been developed by IEK-7 and Los Gatos Instruments and already measure OCS, CO₂, CO, CH₄ und H₂O on the meteorological tower of FZJ on the 20m and 100m platform since October 2012.

Tower measurements, weather data of the last 24h:

Trace gas observations with Los Gatos ICOS Analyzer on the FZJ meteorological tower:

Measurement technique

• Off-Axis-Integrated-Cavity-Output-Spectroscopy
• Sensitive measurements due to long path length
• Rugged design through 'off-axis' geometry
• Wavenumber range: 2050.3-2050.9 cm-1, mid Infrared fingerprint region

ICOS principleICOS principle

Integration into the research aircraft GeophysicaIntegration into the research aircraft Geophysica

Planned campaigns on the research aircraft Geophysica

• Test campaign 2015/2016
• StratoClim (India) 2016


Dr. Marc von Hobe
Phone: +49 2461 61-4620

Corinna Kloss
Phone: +49 2461 61-4353