Offline coarse resolution ozone profile

(Processing discontinued)


Offline coarse resolution vertical ozone profile product provides an ozone profile from the GOME-2 nadir scanning mode, the full error covariance matrix, the retrieval noise covariance matrix, the a priori profile, the averaging kernels and the retrieved auxiliary parameters, like surface or cloud albedo. Also included are: geo-location, the specific spectral windows used and retrieval diagnostics, like the number of iterations and spectral fit indicators.

The coarse resolution (CR) ozone profile differs from the high resolution (HR) ozone profile product in the sense that the CR uses the footprint of the Band-1a integration time, and the HR product uses footprint of the Band-1b integration time. This generally means that the CR product is 8 times as wide (cross-track) than the HR product. In order to combine the spectral information of eight Band-1b footprints onto one Band-1a footprint, the spectral information and the cloud information are averaged.

The offline ozone profile product bundles all the PDU-based NRT ozone profile products into one single orbit. The offline product is better for archiving purposes, but does not contain different information than the products produced in NRT.


Offline (processing discontinued 1 June 2017).


Coarse resolution

  • Metop-A: 40 x 640 km2 (24/01/2007 – 16/07/2013) and 40 x 320 km2 (16/07/2013 – 01/06/2017).
  • Metop-B: 40 x 640 km2 (12/12/2012 – 01/06/2017).

Theoretical basis

Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2) measures the radiance spectrum of sunlight scattered from the atmosphere in the (UV) wavelength region 260-330 nm. The absorption of ozone decreases with increasing wavelength. This differential absorption makes it possible to derive the vertical distribution of ozone in the atmosphere from the measured UV spectrum.

Processing algorithm

At KNMI, Ozone ProfilE Retrieval Algorithm (OPERA) iteratively finds the vertical ozone profile best matching the GOME-2 reflectance using optimal estimation. The forward model is based on LidortA and uses an externally prescribed instrument response slit function. The a priori ozone climatology is (currently) based on McPeters/Labow/Logan. The surface pressure and the vertical temperature profile come from operational ECMWF forecasts. Special adaptations have been made to handle spikes in the measured radiance spectrum in the South Atlantic Anomaly.

Units and spatial resolution

The vertical ozone profiles are given as partial ozone columns in Dobson Units (DU) in 40 layers from the surface up to 0.001 hPa. The ground pixel size corresponds to the footprint of the Band-1b integration time, which usually means 40 x 640 km2 (along-track x cross-track, see also resolution above).


This product was validated by DWD (Germany) and KMI (Belgium). The validations were based on detailed comparisons of the operational retrieved profiles from GOME-2 satellite data with ground-based measurements (balloon soundings, lidar and microwave radiometer measurements).

Archiving and dissemination

This product is archived at FMI and available via special request to the AC SAF Helpdesk.

File format

HDF5 is the product format of choice for scientific users. This product contains all the profile, error and diagnostics information.
Each offline ozone profile product file contains one full orbit of data.

Algorithm version information

Time period GOME-2 / Metop-A GOME-2 / Metop-B
until 30.05.2008 0.98 N.A.
30.05.2008 – 09.12.2008 0.99 N.A.
09.12.2008 – 09.11.2009 1.00 N.A.
09.11.2009 – 29.04.2010 1.01 N.A.
29.04.2010 – 13.05.2013 1.10 N.A.
13.05.2013 – 15.07.2013 1.11 N.A.
15.07.2013 – 23.02.2015 1.11 1.11
23.02.2015 - 01.06.2017 1.12 1.12

Important changes in the latest algorithm version (1.12)

  • Use of temperature and potential vorticity as an indicator for the tropopause
  • Lower limit of valid temperature range from 150K down to 100K
  • Cloud Fraction max to 1.06 due to regular FRESCO overshoots in L1b
  • Internal naming of spectral windows Band → COADDED in case of (averaging to) B1a footprint
  • Including tropospheric integrated vertical profile, from surface up to tropopause and from surface up to 500hPa
  • New metadata parameters: ProductID and DOI