Dataset Open Access

Nitric oxide (NO) data set (60--160 km) from SCIAMACHY mesosphere--lower thermosphere limb scans

Bender, Stefan; Sinnhuber, Miriam; Burrows, John P.; Langowski, Martin

Scharringhausen, Marco

Contains the nitric oxide (NO) number densities (in cm-3) from 60 km to 160 km retrieved from SCIAMACHY mesosphere--lower thermosphere (MLT, 50--150 km) limb scans.

SCIAMACHY is a UV-visible-near-infrared spectrometer which flies on ESA's Envisat and was operational from 08/2002 to 04/2012 (see Burrows et al., 1995 and Bovensmann et al., 1999 and references therein). The Mesosphere--Lower Thermosphere (MLT) measurement mode was carried out from 07/2008 until the end of the mission for one day every 15 days. This data set comprises 84 days of SCIAMACHY MLT NO measurements, each
containing about 15 orbits.

The NO retrieval was carried out at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany, and is described in Bender et al., 2013. We used the SCIAMACHY geo-located atmospheric spectra (SCI_NL__1P) version 8.02 provided by ESA via their data browser at
The spectra were calibrated with ESA's `SciaL1C` command line tool available for download at

The SCIAMACHY NO data were compared to the results from ACE-FTS, MIPAS, and SMR in Bender et al., 2015, showing that all agree within the respective measurement uncertainties.

The development of the retrieval was funded by the Helmholtz-society under the grant number VH-NG-624. The SCIAMACHY project, which was initiated by Professor Burrows in 1984, was funded by the German Aerospace  Agency (DLR), the Netherlands Space Office NSO, formerly NIVR, and the Belgium ministry responsible for space.  ESA funded the Envisat project. Professor Burrows of University of Bremen is the Principal Investigator. He and his  research team comprising his colleagues in Bremen and international scientific collaborators led the scientific  support and development of SCIAMACHY and the scientific exploitation of its  data products.

The SCIAMACHY instrument is developed by an industrial team headed by companies now known as Airbus SD on the German side and by Dutch Space on the Dutch side and included Belgium companies. The instrument and algorithm development is supported by the activities of the SCIAMACHY Science Advisory Group (SSAG), a team of scientists from various  international institutions: University of  Bremen (D), SRON (NL), SAO (USA), IASB (B), MPI Chemistry Mainz (D), KNMI (NL),  University of Heidelberg (D), IMGA (I), CNRS-LPMA (F). Operational data processing is being performed by ESA and DLR-DFD within the ENVISAT ground  segment. Support with respect to mission planning and operations is given by  the SCIAMACHY Operations Support Team (SOST). The relevant work at the University of Bremen is funded by the University and State of Bremen.

Please also cite Bender et al., 2013 when using this data set.
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  • Bender et al., 2013, Retrieval of nitric oxide in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere from SCIAMACHY limb spactra, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 2521--2531, 2013, doi:10.5194/amt-6-2521-2013

  • Bender et al., 2015, Comparison of nitric oxide measurements in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere from ACE-FTS, MIPAS, SCIAMACHY, and SMR, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 4171--4195, 2015, doi:10.5194/amt-8-4171-2015

  • Bovensmann et al., 1999, SCIAMACHY: Mission objectives and measurement modes, J. Atmos. Sci., 56, 127--150, 1999, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1999)056<0127:SMOAMM>2.0.CO;2

  • Burrows et al., 1995, SCIAMACHY - Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography, Acta Astronaut., 35, 445--451, 1995, doi:10.1016/0094-5765(94)00278-T

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