SCIAMACHY Long Term Monitoring
Health and performance of the SCIAMACHY instrument are regularly
monitored by the
Sciamachy Operations Support Team (SOST)
Monitoring activities are essential to detect and possibly correct for
the degradation of instrument components. Therefore long-term
monitoring is a prerequisite for a high data
product quality throughout the lifetime of SCIAMACHY.
One part of the long-term monitoring activities is the trend analysis
of measurements with the internal White Light Source (WLS) and of
observations of the unobscured Sun above the atmosphere.
In order to monitor the different SCIAMACHY light paths solar
measurements are taken in various viewing geometries:
In limb/occultation geometry (via ASM and ESM mirrors), in nadir
geometry (via the ESM mirror through the subsolar port), and via
the so-called calibration light path involving the ASM mirror and the
SCIAMACHY long-term monitoring comprises a regular analysis of these
The plots displayed on this page show first results of these
Note that the monitoring data presented here have been reprocessed using
actual (Level 1b V6.x upwards) radiometric key data.
The displayed data have been produced in the following way:
All measured spectra have been divided by the corresponding measurement at a
reference time; then for each channel a median of the ratio is computed,
yielding an effective instrument throughput for the different light paths.
The reference spectra for all light paths are derived from measurements on 16
January 2003 (the time of the first monthly calibration performed with final
The resulting medians are then scaled to be 1 just after the first decontamination
under (quasi-)nominal measurement conditions in August 2002.
Therefore, the reference date for all data is in fact 2 August 2002.
Subsolar measurements before 30 November 2002 (about orbit 3922) did not
consider the known yaw misalignment of SCIAMACHY on ENVISAT and thus may
not be used for monitoring purposes.
Therefore there are no subsolar data shown before December 2002.
Since no valid subsolar measurements are available for August 2002 the subsolar
throughput data have been scaled to 2 August 2002 by using the same factor as for the
limb light path.
Note that measurements performed during times of reduced instrument
performance (e.g. switch-offs or decontamination periods) have been
The plots are updated on a daily basis, thus reflecting the current
status of the instrument.
monitoring plots are also available (click here).
PMD monitoring results can be
throughput monitoring results (based on Level 0 data) can be found here.
A download of spectral data
is also possible (click here
Channel 1 (Click to Enlarge)
Channel 2 (Click to Enlarge)
Channel 3 (Click to Enlarge)
Channel 4 (Click to Enlarge)
Channel 5 (Click to Enlarge)
Channel 6 (Click to Enlarge)
Channel 7 (Click to Enlarge)
Channel 8 (Click to Enlarge)
As can be seen from the plots, the SCIAMACHY instrument is
generally in good shape.
However, to avoid misunderstanding, some features in the plots require
- General remark:
The results presented here are based on the analysis of uncalibrated
data, which have been corrected for dead/bad pixels, dark current,
scan angle dependencies, quantum efficiency changes, and the
seasonally varying distance to the Sun.
Additional calibration steps have not been performed, like for example
Therefore, variations smaller than about 1% require careful
- Between 21 and 27 February 2003 the detector temperature settings
been slightly changed. This explains small jumps in the average signals
at about orbit 5140 (especially visible in channel 1 for subsolar
- The WLS has proven to be radiometrically very stable except for a
degradation in the UV which is correlated with the burn time.
- In the UV (channels 1 and 2) a small degradation is visible for
all light paths. However, this degradation is much smaller than
expected from e.g. GOME
- Most prominent are the large throughput changes in the IR
and 8. The decrease in throughput is caused by growing ice layers on
detectors. The ice can be removed by heating during a decontamination
procedure such that the full throughput is restored, but then the ice
layers start to grow again.
- Variations of the measured average solar signal are often
with solar activity.
Especially, this can be seen in the "Sun via ASM Mirror and ESM
Mirror" data, which have the best temporal resolution.
- The (end of the) partial solar eclipse of 31 July 2003 shows up
monitoring plots as a slight decrease of the "Sun via ASM Mirror and
Mirror" signal. This signal drop is not visible in the other data,
because there were no
corresponding measurements for the other light paths at the time of
A similar (but larger) effect is visible during the partial solar
eclipse of 14
- The "Sun via ASM Mirror and ESM Mirror" data for 9 and 10
are affected by the reduced ENVISAT pointing performance during this
Until October 2006 the nadir/subsolar light path was monitored based on fast
However, subsolar pointing measurements are considered to have a better quality
for monitoring purposes (especially for PMD monitoring) and thus shall become the
Since 1 October 2006 subsolar measurements in fast sweep scan mode are only
executed once per month (before that time: daily) whereas subsolar measurements
in pointing mode are executed twice per week (before: once per month).
Stefan Noël (firstname.lastname@example.org)