The New MAX-DOAS Network in Mexico City for Trace Gas Detection

Friday, 19 December 2014
Edgar Josue Arellano, Arne Krüger, Claudia I Rivera, Wolfgang Stremme, Martina Michaela Friedrich and Michel Grutter, UNAM National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Atmospheric studies in large cities are of great relevance since pollution affects air quality and human health. We have designed and built instruments based on the Multi Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) technique and established a network in strategic sites within the Mexico City metropolitan area. Four instruments are now in operation with the aim to study the variability and spatial distribution of key pollutants, which will bring new insight in the current knowledge of transport patterns, emissions as well as frequency and origin of extraordinary events. The instruments measure UV/visible spectra of the sky at different elevation angles in the 280 nm to 510 nm wavelength region along one axis. Currently, 36 measurements constitute a full scan performed from west until East direction (-90 to +90°). The scanning unit, which is installed outdoors, holds a small telescope and the motor control unit. Light is transmitted via an optical fiber to the main box, which holds a compact USB spectrometer and the main control electronics. The spectrometer is accurately temperature controlled and all the spectra of each scan, together with elevation angle and other parameters, are recorded on a compact PC. Post processing of these data with the QDOAS software results in slant column densities (SCD) of the atmospheric gases. This information is then converted to vertical profiles through a process described in a companion presentation. Preliminary results will be presented for formaldehyde, fitted in the region 324-360 nm. The data obtained is useful for the comparison with satellite data for example OMI.