Performance of the AOTF-based NO2 camera for urban pollution imaging

Emmanuel Dekemper, J. Vanhamel , Michel Van Roozendael

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific

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An instrument capable of imaging the field of NO2 in various open-air situations has been designed, manufactured, and tested. It is an improved version of the NO2 camera relying on an AOTF (acousto-optical tunable filter) which has demonstrated, amongst other things, its capability to quantify the NO2 released by power plant smokestacks. The improved version which is presented has a larger field of view, a higher frame rate, and better spectral registration performance.

The working principle of the instrument has been preserved: by driving the AOTF with the appropriate acoustic frequency, a spectral image of the scene captured by the camera is recorded at a particular wavelength. The recording of a number of spectral images allows to form an hypercube: two spatial dimensions, and a spectral one.

While the earlier instrument was relying on a handful of wavelengths to quantify the slant column density of NO2 observed in each pixel line of sight, the new instrument can now record "continuous" portions of the visible-light spectrum, typically between 440, and 460nm, where the NO2 exhibits some of its largest absorption lines.

When the target is stable, like the air observed above a city skyline, the NO2 camera has enough time to build a large hypercube, and the spectrum measured in each pixel can be processed by the DOAS (differential optical absorption spectroscopy) method. This approach is better suited when NO2 is expected across the entire scene, not just in the plume of a smokestack for instance.

The new instrument will be presented, and results of measurements performed in an urban context will be shown. The performance of the NO2 camera will be discussed based on the results of an intercomparison with the MAX-DOAS of Uccle, Brussels, and other air quality stations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventEGU General Assembly 2022 - Vienna, Austria & Online, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 23 May 202227 May 2022


ConferenceEGU General Assembly 2022
Internet address


  • NO2
  • AOTF
  • imaging photoplethysmography


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