For my Ph.D. research, I've been working with a ground-based diffraction grating spectrometer: the University of Toronto Ground-Based Spectrometer (UT-GBS). I look at zenith-sky solar spectra and, using differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS to those in the know), retrieve concentrations of ozone, NO2, BrO, OClO, and NO3. I've deployed the spectrometer in a few exotic locales: Toronto ON (43N), Vanscoy SK (52N) (as part of MANTRA
Resolute Bay NU (75N), and Eureka NU (80N).
), the lab in Eureka, is currently being re-equipped, which includes a brand new UV-Vis spectrometer (cleverly called the PEARL-GBS). This instrument lives at PEARL, and I traveled there to install it in August 2006, my first summertime trip to the Arctic. Pointing one of these instruments at the Sun and one at the zenith sky will let us find out some information on the vertical distribution of BrO in the Arctic, something that is not well understood.
My four most recent wintertime trips up North (2004 - 2007) have been as part of a larger mission to validate the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment
) satellite launched
on board SCISAT-1 in August 2003. These campaigns have their very own website
I've been spending a lot of time comparing data from my instrument with data from other zenith-sky viewing grating spectrometers: the CNRS' SAOZ, EC's SPS, and EC's MAESTRO (which happens to be a clone of the MAESTRO instrument on board the ACE satellite). Although you may think these comparisons would be straight forward, little differences in the instruments (eg. the field-of-view) can cause significant differences in their data.
And for something completely different, I've also been looking at NO2 produced by lightning in the upper troposphere, which can sometimes be detected by UV-Visible instruments such as the UT-GBS.
Of course none of this could happen without the Department of Physics
the Atmospheric Physics Research Group
and my supervisor, Prof. Kimberly Strong