2012-02-28: The Cabauw Intercomparison campaign for Nitrogen Dioxide Measuring Instruments (CINDI)

From June to July 2009 more than thirty different in-situ and remote sensing instruments from all over the world participated in the Cabauw Intercomparison campaign for Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI). The campaign took place at KNMI's Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR) in the Netherlands. Its main objectives were to determine the accuracy of state-of-the-art ground-based measurement techniques for the detection of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide (both in-situ and remote sensing), and to investigate their usability in satellite data validation.
The expected outcomes are recommendations regarding the operation and calibration of such instruments, retrieval settings, and observation strategies for the use in ground-based networks for air quality monitoring and satellite data validation. Twenty-four optical spectrometers participated in the campaign, of which twenty-one had the capability to scan different elevation angles consecutively, the so-called Multi-axis DOAS systems, thereby collecting vertical profile information, in particular for nitrogen dioxide and aerosol. Various in-situ samplers and lidar instruments simultaneously characterized the variability of atmospheric trace gases and the physical properties of aerosol particles.
A large data set of continuous measurements of these atmospheric constituents has been collected under various meteorological conditions and air pollution levels. Together with the permanent measurement capability at the CESAR site characterizing the meteorological state of the atmosphere, the CINDI campaign provided a comprehensive observational data set of atmospheric constituents in a highly polluted region of the world during summertime.
First detailed comparisons performed with the CINDI data show that slant column measurements of NO2, O4 and HCHO with MAX-DOAS agree within 5 to 15%, vertical profiles of NO2 derived from several independent instruments agree within 25% of one another, and MAX-DOAS aerosol optical thickness agrees within 20-30% with AERONET data. For the in-situ NO2 instrument using a molybdenum converter, a bias was found as large as 5ppbv during day time, when compared to the other in-situ instruments using photolytic converters.

Full article

A selection of the optical instruments, present during CINDI, illustrating the large variety of optical detection system designs. Some images display complete stand-alone systems (e.g. WSU), others are only displaying the telescopes (e.g. NASA) that are connected to the spectrographs and detection systems by optical quartz fibres.