With monitoring the Earth's atmosphere an international priority GOME-2 will contribute towards climatology and atmospheric research whilst providing near real-time data for use in air quality forecasting. GOME-2 will provide profiles of atmospheric ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, as well as other trace gases and levels of harmful ultraviolet light penetrating the atmosphere.
GOME-2 is designed to determine amounts of certain gases present in the atmosphere through the principles of spectroscopy, where, incoming light is split into its spectral components to reveal absorption lines, which correspond to various gases present in the observed sample.
The graph is an example of an Earth radiance spectrum showing the four different channels in different colours. The bars indicate where the different gases have been absorbed. The strong decrease of the spectrum below 300 nm is a result of the ozone layer. The upper trace shows an example of a Sun spectrum with the appropriated units on the right y-axis scale – this serves as a reference.
This example of a scan shows how the field of view can be varied in size from 960 km x 80 km to the narrower, smaller scale scan of 320 km x 40 km. The latter gives a better resolution on the ground, which is useful for investigating local effects.
The animation shows varying atmospheric ozone concentrations and the ozone hole over Antarctica. GOME-2 will deliver near real-time data on atmospheric ozone concentrations as illustrated by the changing cloud cover in the animation.