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Antarctica) and aircraft-borne platforms must be used in order to reduce water vapor attenuation. C). Limb sounding is made from a high-altitude platform. Balloon-borne platforms that fly at altitudes of up to about 40 km have been used in past observations; moreover, space-borne platforms are planned for future observations. The line of sight is oriented below the horizontal direction, but not far from it, so that the earth's surface is not reached and only the atmospheric limb is observed. In this case the zenith angle is greater than 90°.

In the case of photometric measurements the NEP S M measured at the input of the instrument is equal to NEPSM,phot = ΝΕΡ/(ε Vw) (6) where the NEP is measured at the detector level, ε is the efficiency of the spectrometer, and m is the number of modes that are simultaneously observed, which is approximately equal to the throughput divided by the square of the wavelength. The NEP of an heterodyne instrument, which is by definition a NEPSM> is [38] NEPhet = NEPSM,het = 2 k Tsys V S J , (7) where k is the Boltzmann's constant and Δν is the spectral resolution.

Noise temperature of different heterodyne detection systems plotted as a function of the frequency. The dashed line indicates the technological limit. Data are from the review by Guenther and Kruse [31]. z ü + \ + * [*] annivii3diM3i asiON 38 ψ CARLI AND CARLOTTI E. Photometric Instruments As we have seen in the previous section, heterodyne detection depends on the coherent conversion of the amplitude of the electric field. This distinguishes heterodyne detectors from all the other detectors, which provides directly a signal proportional to the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation.

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