The MIPAS Experiment Aboard ENVISAT: Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Composition

  • Herbert Fischer
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Security through Science Series book series


The European satellite ENVISAT has been successfully launched at 1 March 2002. Onboard ENVISAT the MIPAS (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding) experiment has been carried to a sun-synchronous polar orbit. MIPAS is a mid-infrared high resolution (0.035 cm−1) limb sounder. The measured spectra in the range between 4.1 and 14.6 µm are processed in order to derive global distributions of temperature and about 25 trace constituents. In addition, the detected broadband spectra allow to determine properties of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) and aerosol amount. The status of the MIPAS experiment since its launch will be described. The strength of the MIPAS experiment is demonstrated by the simultaneous detection of a larger number of stratospheric trace species including ClONO2 and ClO. In addition, it will be shown that essential properties of PSCs will be derived from corresponding spectra including the spatial distribution and temporal development of PSCs. MIPAS can also be used to study the troposphericstratospheric exchange (H2O distributions) and the mesosphericstratospheric exchange (NO/NO2 distributions). Further investigations deal with the analysis of highly resolved spectra in order to determine the concentration profiles of isotopes (e.g. of water vapour). These results yield complementary information on dynamics and transport in the atmosphere. The article will be concluded with future expectations on MIPAS results


infrared spectroscopy trace constituents atmospheric dynamics atmospheric chemistry stratosphere ENVISAT MIPAS 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Fischer, H., 1993, Remote sensing of atmospheric trace gase, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 18: 185–191.Google Scholar
  2. Fischer, H., Blom, C., Oelhaf, H., Carli, B., Carlotti, M., Delbouille, L., Ehhalt, D., Flaud, J.-M., Isaksen, I., Lopez-Puertas, M., McElroy, C.T., and Zander, R., 2000, Envisat-MIPAS, the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding; An instrument for atmospheric chemistry and climate research, ESA SP-1229, C. Readings and R.A. Harris, eds. (European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 2000).Google Scholar
  3. Funke, B., et al., 2006, Downward transport of upper atmospheric NOx into the polar stratosphere and lower mesosphere during the Antarctic 2003 and Arctic 2002/2003 winters, J. Geophys. Res., accepted.Google Scholar
  4. Glatthor, N., et al., 2004, Mixing processes during the Antarctic vortex split in September/October 2002 as inferred from source gas and ozone distributions from MIPAS/ENVISAT, J. Atmos. Sci., Special issue on Antarctic Vortex 2002, accepted January 2004.Google Scholar
  5. Höpfner, M., et al., 2004, First spaceborne observations of antarctic stratospheric ClONO2 recovery: austral spring 2002, J. Geophys. Res. 109: D11308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Höpfner, M., et al., 2005, MIPAS detects Antarctic stratospheric belt of NAT PSCs caused by mountain waves, Atm. Chem. Phys. (Discuss.), June 2005..Google Scholar
  7. Lopez-Puertas, M., et al., 2006, Observation of NOx Enhancement and Ozone Depletion after the October-November 2003 Solar Proton Events, J. Geophys. Res., accepted.Google Scholar
  8. Rodgers, C.D., 2000, Inverse Methods for Atmospheric Sounding: Theory and Practice, Vol. 2, edited by F.W. Taylor, World Scientific, River Edge, N.J.Google Scholar
  9. Stiller, G.P., (Ed.), 2000, The Karlsruhe optimized and precise radiative transfer algorithm (KOPRA), Wiss. Ber. FZKA 6487, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-ASF)Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe and Universität KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations