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Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4) logo

Development of a Formaldehyde Product from the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite Nadir Mapper (OMPS-N) on Suomi-NPP and JPSS-1

Formaldehyde is one of the most abundant non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) in the troposphere. Over land, high levels of formaldehyde can result from the oxidation of NMVOCs from biogenic, anthropogenic and pyrogenic activities, as well as from direct emission by industrial activity and fires. When present in sufficient amounts, formaldehyde can be detected using nadir sounding satellite instruments viewing backscattered light in the ultraviolet. Its short lifetime of a few hours means that formaldehyde can be used as a proxy of NMVOCs, and as a top-down constraint on the isoprene emissions that contribute to the formation of secondary organic aerosols in certain chemical regimes.

The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite nadir-viewing instruments (OMPS-N) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 satellites operate in the ultraviolet, with a focus on measurements of ozone. To date, there has been no formal directive from either NASA or NOAA to produce a formaldehyde product from OMPS. Formaldehyde retrievals from OMPS-N have, however, been demonstrated by two research groups, including our own at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, which has previously produced four years of global formaldehyde retrievals from OMPS-N on Suomi NPP.

We propose to generate satellite retrieval products of formaldehyde from OMPS-N on the Suomi NPP and JPSS-1 satellites by:

Developing consistent retrievals of formaldehyde with quantitative uncertainties from the two OMPS-N instruments on board Suomi NPP and JPSS-1, using well-established retrieval algorithms developed at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory;

Validating our retrievals using airborne measurement data from field campaigns; and

Creating and disseminating the OMPS-N formaldehyde products.

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