A method to correct sampling ghosts in historic near-infrared Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) measurements
The Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) has been established to provide ground-based remote sensing measurements of the column-averaged dry air mole fractions (DMF) of key greenhouse gases. To ensure network-wide consistency, biases between Fourier transform spectrometers at different sites have to be well controlled. Errors in interferogram sampling can introduce significant biases in retrievals. In this study we investigate a two-step scheme to correct these errors. In the first step the laser sampling error (LSE) is estimated by determining the sampling shift which minimises the magnitude of the signal intensity in selected, fully absorbed regions of the solar spectrum. The LSE is estimated for every day with measurements which meet certain selection criteria to derive the site-specific time series of the LSEs. In the second step, this sequence of LSEs is used to resample all the interferograms acquired at the site, and hence correct the sampling errors. Measurements acquired at the Izaña and Lauder TCCON sites are used to demonstrate the method. At both sites the sampling error histories show changes in LSE due to instrument interventions (e.g. realignment). Estimated LSEs are in good agreement with sampling errors inferred from the ratio of primary and ghost spectral signatures in optically bandpass-limited tungsten lamp spectra acquired at Lauder. The original time series of Xair and XCO2 ( XY: column-averaged DMF of the target gas Y) at both sites show discrepancies of 0.2–0.5% due to changes in the LSE associated with instrument interventions or changes in the measurement sample rate. After resampling, discrepancies are reduced to 0.1% or less at Lauder and 0.2% at Izaña. In the latter case, coincident changes in interferometer alignment may also have contributed to the residual difference. In the future the proposed method will be used to correct historical spectra at all TCCON sites.