1LATMOS-IPSL, CNRS/INSU, UMR 8190, Univ. Versailles St-Quentin, Guyancourt, France
2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Earth Observation, Helsinki, Finland
3Institut d'Aeronomie Spatiale de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
4AACRI-st, Sophia-Antipolis, France
5ESA, Esrin, Frascati, Italy
6IDEAS, Serco, Frascati, Italy
7EADS-Astrium, Toulouse, France
Abstract. GOMOS on ENVISAT (launched in February, 2002) is the first space instrument dedicated to the study of the atmosphere of the Earth by the technique of stellar occultations (Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars). From a polar orbit, it allows to have a good latitude coverage. Because it is self-calibrated, it is particularly well adapted to the long time trend monitoring of stratospheric species. With 4 spectrometers the wavelength coverage of 248 nm to 942 nm allows to monitor ozone, H2O, NO2, NO3, air, aerosols, and O2. Two additional fast photometers (1 kHz sampling rate) allow for the correction of scintillations, as well as the study of the structure of air density irregularities, resulting from gravity waves and turbulence. A high vertical resolution profile of the temperature may also be obtained from the time delay between the red and the blue photometer. Noctilucent clouds (Polar Mesospheric Clouds, PMC), are routinely observed in both polar summers, and global observations of OCLO and sodium are achieved.
The instrument configuration, dictated by the scientific objectives rationale and technical constraints, are described, together with the typical operations along one orbit, and statistics over 5 years of operation. Typical atmospheric transmission spectra are presented, and some retrieval difficulties are discussed, in particular for O2 and H2O.
An overview of a number of scientific results is presented, already published or found in more details as companion papers in the same ACP GOMOS special issue. This paper is particularly intended to provide the incentive for GOMOS data exploitation, available to the whole scientific community in the ESA data archive, and to help the GOMOS data users to better understand the instrument, its capabilities and the quality of its measurements, for an optimized scientific return.