Multi Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS)
We present and demonstrate a relatively simple algorithm, which converts a set of slant column density measurements of oxygen dimers (O4) and NO2 at several different elevation angles to determine the atmospheric aerosol extinction and the absolute concentration and mixing ratio of NO2 within the atmospheric boundary layer. In addition the height of the atmospheric boundary layer can usually be derived, also the technique can be readily extended to determine the concentration of several other trace gases including SO2, CH2O, or glyoxal. The algorithm is based on precise radiation transport modelling determination, taking into account the actual aerosol scenario as determined from the O4 measurements. The required hardware is simple encompassing essentially a miniature spectrometer, a small telescope, a pointing mechanism, and a Personal Computer (PC). Effectively the technique combines the simplicity of a passive MAX-DOAS observation with the capability of a much more complex active DOAS instrument to determine path-averaged, absolutely calibrated mixing ratios of atmospheric trace gases at relatively high accuracy.