University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL


The Huntsville ozone (Differential Absorption Lidar) DIAL is located in the Regional Atmospheric Profiling Center for Discovery (RAPCD) on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) (34.72°N, 86.65°W) at 206 m above sea level. Developed jointly by the UAH and NASA/GSFC, this lidar system has been making regular 10 minute data acquisition since 2008. Currently, the Huntsville DIAL measures ozone from 0.5 to ~10 km above ground level during both daytime and nighttime with two wavelengths, 285 and 291 nm, and two receivers, one 10 cm in diameter and the second 40 cm [Kuang, et al., 2011]. Weekly ozonesondes (EN-SCI model 2Z) have been launched at the same location since 1999 and measure ozone, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity (RH) up to 35 km altitude at an accuracy of better than 10% [Newchurch et al, 2003]. The validation of the lidar measurements using ozonesondes has shown that the uncertainties for a 10-min retrieval are less than 10% below 4 km AGL (above ground level) and less than 20% below 8 km AGL.

Huntsville, located in the Southeast of the United States, is the fourth largest city in Alabama with a population of about 180,000 and represents a typical mid-size central city of the U.S. Although Huntsville does not have a serious industrial emission problem, it is surrounded by several larger cities: Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, and Atlanta, which have numerous industrial emission sources that can potentially affect Huntsville's air quality. Therefore, the tropospheric ozone measurements at this location provide an opportunity for us to investigate the pollutant transport in the Southeast and validate satellite ozone retrievals in the lower troposphere within a region afflicted by air pollution.


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