The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) was an infrared (IR) limb emission spectrometer on the Envisat platform. Currently, there are four MIPAS ozone data products, including the operational Level-2 ozone product processed at ESA, with the scientific prototype processor being operated at IFAC Florence, and three independent research products developed by the Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara (ISAC-CNR)/University of Bologna, Oxford University, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology–Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research/Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (KIT–IMK/IAA). Here we present a dataset of ozone vertical profiles obtained by merging ozone retrievals from four independent Level-2 MIPAS processors. We also discuss the advantages and the shortcomings of this merged product. As the four processors retrieve ozone in different parts of the spectra (microwindows), the source measurements can be considered as nearly independent with respect to measurement noise. Hence, the information content of the merged product is greater and the precision is better than those of any parent (so ... mehrurce) dataset.
The merging is performed on a profile per profile basis. Parent ozone profiles are weighted based on the corresponding error covariance matrices; the error correlations between different profile levels are taken into account. The intercorrelations between the processors' errors are evaluated statistically and are used in the merging. The height range of the merged product is 20–55 km, and error covariance matrices are provided as diagnostics. Validation of the merged dataset is performed by comparison with ozone profiles from ACE-FTS (Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment–Fourier Transform Spectrometer) and MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder). Even though the merging is not supposed to remove the biases of the parent datasets, around the ozone volume mixing ratio peak the merged product is found to have a smaller (up to 0.1 ppmv) bias with respect to ACE-FTS than any of the parent datasets. The bias with respect to MLS is of the order of 0.15 ppmv at 20–30 km height and up to 0.45 ppmv at larger altitudes. The agreement between the merged data MIPAS dataset with ACE-FTS is better than that with MLS. This is, however, the case for all parent processors as well.