Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) - 05.06.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) investigation aims to globally map stratospheric trace gases by means of the most sensitive submillimeter receiver. Although SMILES stopped atmospheric observation due to instrumental failures since April 2010, highly sensitive data obtained for a half year provides accurate global datasets of atmospheric minor constituents related to ozone chemistry. SMILES continues operations for instrumental calibration and cooling of a mechanical cooler, as well as a brush-up of retrieval algorithms for atmospheric constituents.
Science Results for Everyone
Earth has gas problems. This investigation mapped stratospheric trace gases around the globe with an instrument on the space station that detects weak, sub-millimeter electromagnetic waves emitted from atmospheric molecules. Researchers used the data to reveal global distributions of ozone and related atmospheric constituents during the 24-hour day/night cycle on Earth. These highly sensitive observations provide a better understanding of processes controlling the stratospheric ozone chemistry and those related to climate change. Data revealed anomalous distribution of stratospheric ozone in tropic regions from autumn of 2009 to spring of 2010 and ozone depletion in the Arctic in January of 2010.

The following content was provided by Masato Shiotani, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Masato Shiotani, Kyoto University, Uji, Japan

Masahiro Takayanagi, Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Sagamihara, Japan

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tsukuba, Japan

Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2009 - September 2014

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The main scientific target of the SMILES mission is to evaluate quantitatively the recovery and stability of the stratospheric ozone layer. There are still considerable uncertainties in factors affecting ozone levels. There is a need for a detailed understanding of ozone chemistry based on a high sensitive observation.
  • SMILES has a high potential to observe atmospheric minor constituents which contribute the ozone depletion in the middle atmosphere.
  • SMILES provides accurate global datasets of ozone-depletion gas concentrations and gives important insights into the ozone trend, especially chlorine and bromine compounds related to ozone chemistry.

SMILES (Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder) is a sensitive submillimeter-wave sounder. The objective of SMILES is to monitor global distributions of the stratshperic trace gases which contribute ozone depletion. SMILES is the first to use a superconductive low-noise receiver with a mechanical 4-K refrigerator in space to realize a high sensitive observation.

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Space Applications
The technologies of the cryogenic system used in SMILES may be applied to future spacecraft development.

Earth Applications
The high-sensitivity observations of SMILES improve scientific understanding of processes controlling the stratospheric ozone chemistry and those related to climate change.

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Operational Requirements
SMILES requires cooling operation and instrumental calibration operation. For the cooling operation, low-rate downlink is used. The operation is scheduled four times in 2011, each takes a few weeks to complete. After 2011, a weeklong simplified cooling operation is conducted at annual intervals. For the instrumental calibration operation, both low- and medium-rate downlink are used.

Operational Protocols
For the cooling operation, two mechanical cryocoolers are operated. Operation procedures aim to achieve a cryogenic temperature of about 4 Kelvin. For the instrumental calibration operation, subsystems related to a signal chain are powered on. The internal calibration signals are generated to investigate the response of the subsystems.

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Results/More Information

SMILES has performed atmospheric observation for a half year, from October 2009 to April 2010. After the cryocooler failure occurred at June 2010, 14-times cooling operations have been performed. Although the analysis of the atmospheric data is still continuing, we have derived some preliminary results to date. The profiles and horizontal distributions of ozone and HCl are reasonable. Even for those species with weak signals, such as BrO and HO2, we can get promising results, even for a single scan. Averaging, such as daily zonal means, will produce scientifically useful signal-to-noise ratios for these species. We have shown the capability of obtaining high-quality scientific data that will be important to addressing scientific issues such as the ozone trend problem, middle atmosphere chemistry with a special focus on the diurnal cycle, and the transport process of minor species. These outcomes from SMILES will demonstrate the high potential to observe atmospheric minor constituents in the middle atmosphere. And the knowledges obtained through the cooling operations will provide useful informations for future cryogenic missions

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Results Publications

    Sato TO, Mizoguchi A, Mendrok J, Kanamori H, Kasai Y.  Measurement of the pressure broadening coefficient of the 625GHz transition of in the sub-millimeter-wave region. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer. 2010 April; 111(6): 821-825. DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2009.11.022.

    Kuribayashi K, Sagawa H, Lehmann R, Sato TO, Kasai Y.  Direct estimation of the rate constant of the reaction ClO + HO2 → HOCl + O2 from SMILES atmospheric observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2014 January 9; 14(1): 255-266. DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-255-2014.

    Khosravi M, Baron P, Urban J, Froidevaux L, Jonsson AI, Kasai Y, Kuribayashi K, Mitsuda C, Murtagh DP, Sagawa H, Santee ML, Sato TO, Shiotani M, Suzuki M, von Clarmann T, Walker KA, Wang S.  Diurnal variation of stratospheric and lower mesospheric HOCl, ClO and HO<sub>2</sub> at the equator: comparison of 1-D model calculations with measurements by satellite instruments. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2013 August 6; 13(15): 7587-7606. DOI: 10.5194/acp-13-7587-2013.

    Sato TO, Sagawa H, Yoshida N, Kasai Y.  Vertical profile of δ18OOO from the middle stratosphere to lower mesosphere from SMILES spectra. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 2014 April 10; 7(4): 941-958. DOI: 10.5194/amt-7-941-2014.

    Sagi K, Murtagh DP, Urban J, Sagawa H, Kasai Y.  The use of SMILES data to study ozone loss in the Arctic winter 2009/2010 and comparison with Odin/SMR data using assimilation techniques. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2014 December 8; 14(13): 12855-12869. DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-12855-2014.

    Ochiai S, Kikuchi K, Nishibori T, Manabe T, Ozeki H, Mizukoshi K, Ohtsubo F, Tsubosaka K, Irimajiri Y, Sato R, Shiotani M.  Performance of JEM/SMILES in orbit. 21st International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology, Oxford, UK; 2010 March 23-25 179-184.

    Imai K, Manago N, Mitsuda C, Naito Y, Nishimoto E, Sakazaki T, Fujiwara M, Froidevaux L, von Clarmann T, Stiller GP, Murtagh DP, Rong P, Mlynczak MG, Walker KA, Kinnison DE, Akiyoshi H, Nakamura T, Miyasaka T, Nishibori T, Mizobuchi S, Kikuchi K, Ozeki H, Takahashi C, Hayashi H, Sano T, Suzuki M, Takayanagi M, Shiotani M.  Validation of ozone data from the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 2013 June 16; 118(11): 5750-5769. DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50434.

    Suzuki M, Mitsuda C, Takahashi C, Iwata T, Manago N, Sano T, Kikuchi K, Ochiai S, Imai K, Nishimoto E, Naito Y, Hayashi H, Shiotani M.  Early Results From 4K-Cooled Superconducting Submm Wave Limb Emission Sounder SMILES Onboard ISS/JEM. International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences. 2010; 38: 104-109. [Also: SANO, Takuki, and Masato SHIOTANI, ‘Early Results from 4K-Cooled Superconducting Sub-millimeter Wave Limb-Emission Sounder onboard ISS/JEM’, JASMA: Journal of the Japan Society of Microgravity Application, 28 (2011), 47–51  ]

    Jiang JH, Su H, Zhai C, Shen TJ, Wu T, Zhang J, Cole JN, von Salzen K, Donner LJ, Seman C, Del Genio A, Nazarenko LS, Dufresne J, Watanabe M, Morcrette C, Koshiro T, Kawai H, Gettelman A, Millan L, Read WG, Livesey NJ, Kasai Y, Shiotani M.  Evaluating the Diurnal Cycle of Upper-Tropospheric Ice Clouds in Climate Models Using SMILES Observations. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 2015 March; 72(3): 1022-1044. DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-14-0124.1.

    Sugita T, Kasai Y, Terao Y, Hayashida S, Manney GL, Daffer WH, Sagawa H, Suzuki M, Shiotani M, Walker KA, Boone CD, Bernath PF.  HCl and ClO profiles inside the Antarctic vortex as observed by SMILES in November 2009: comparisons with MLS and ACE-FTS instruments. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2013 November 18; 6(11): 3099-3113. DOI: 10.5194/amt-6-3099-2013.

    Millan L, Read WG, Kasai Y, Lambert A, Livesey NJ, Mendrok J, Sagawa H, Sano T, Shiotani M, Wu DL.  SMILES ice cloud products. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 2013 June 27; 118(12): 6468-6477. DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50322.

    Ozeki H, Tamaki K, Mizobuchi S, Mitsuda C, Sano T, Suzuki M, Kikuchi K, Shiotani M.  Response characteristics of radio spectrometers of the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (JEM/SMILES). 2011 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Vancouver, BC; 2011 July 24-29 2262-2265.

    Kikuchi K, Nishibori T, Ochiai S, Ozeki H, Irimajiri Y, Kasai Y, Koike M, Manabe T, Mizukoshi K, Murayama Y, Nagahama T, Sano T, Sato R, Seta M, Takahashi C, Takayanagi M, Masuko H, Inatani J, Suzuki M, Shiotani M.  Overview and early results of the Superconducting Submilimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES). Journal of Geophysical Research. 2010 December 7; 115(D23306): 12 pp. DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014379.

    Eriksson P, Rydberg B, Sagawa H, Johnston MS, Kasai Y.  Overview and sample applications of SMILES and Odin-SMR retrievals of upper tropospheric humidity and cloud ice mass. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2014 December 1; 14(23): 12613-12629. DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-12613-2014.

    Sakazaki T, Fujiwara M, Mitsuda C, Imai K, Manago N, Naito Y, Nakamura T, Akiyoshi H, Kinnison DE, Sano T, Suzuki M, Shiotani M.  Diurnal ozone variations in the stratosphere revealed in observations from the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) on board the International Space Station (ISS). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 2013 April 16; 118(7): 2991-3006. DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50220.

    Mizobuchi S, Kikuchi K, Ochiai S, Nishibori T, Sano T, Tamaki K, Ozeki H.  In-orbit measurement of the AOS (Acousto-Optical Spectrometer) response using frequency comb signals. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. 2012 June; 5(3): 977-983. DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2012.2196413.

    Imai K, Fujiwara M, Inai Y, Manago N, Suzuki M, Sano T, Mitsuda C, Naito Y, Hasebe F, Koide T, Shiotani M.  Comparison of ozone profiles between Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder and worldwide ozonesonde measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 2013 November 27; 118(22): 12,755-12,765. DOI: 10.1002/2013JD021094.

    Ochiai S, Irimajiri Y, Kikuchi K, Nishibori T, Sano T, Sato R, Manabe T, Ozeki H, Shiotani M.  Performance verification and calibration of Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES). 2010 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Honolulu, HI; 2010 July 25-30 4275-4277.

    Suzuki M, Mitsuda C, Kikuchi K, Nishibori T, Ochiai S, Ozeki H, Sano T, Mizobuchi S, Takahashi C, Manago N, Imai K, Naito Y, Hayashi H, Nishimoto E, Shiotani M.  Overview of the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) and sensitivity to chlorine monoxide, ClO. IEEJ Transactions on Fundamentals and Materials. 2012; 132(8): 609-615. DOI: 10.1541/ieejfms.132.609.

    Suzuki M, Ochiai S, Mitsuda C, Imai K, Manabe T, Kikuchi K, Nishibori T, Manago N, Iwata Y, Sano T, Shiotani M.  Verification of pointing and antenna pattern knowledge of Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES). 2011 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Vancouver, BC; 2011 July 24-29 3688-3691.

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Ground Based Results Publications

    Takahashi C, Ochiai S, Suzuki M.  Operational retrieval algorithms for JEM/SMILES level 2 data processing system. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer. 2010 January; 111(1): 160-173. DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2009.06.005.

    Takahashi C, Suzuki M, Mitsuda C, Ochiai S, Manago N, Hayashi H, Iwata Y, Imai K, Sano T, Takayanagi M, Shiotani M.  Capability for ozone high-precision retrieval on JEM/SMILES observation. Advances in Space Research. 2011; 48(6): 1076-1085. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2011.04.038.

    Baron P, Urban J, Sagawa H, Moller J, Murtagh DP, Mendrok J, Dupuy E, Sato TO, Ochiai S, Suzuki K, Manabe T, Nishibori T, Kikuchi K, Sato R, Takayanagi M, Murayama Y, Shiotani M, Kasai Y.  The Level 2 research product algorithms for the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES). Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions. 2011 June 9; 4(3): 3593-3645. DOI: 10.5194/amtd-4-3593-2011.

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Parrish A, Boyd IS, Nedoluha GE, Bhartia PK, Frith SM, Kramarova NA, Connor BJ, Bodeker GE, Froidevaux L, Shiotani M, Sakazaki T.  Diurnal variations of stratospheric ozone measured by ground-based microwave remote sensing at the Mauna Loa NDACC site: measurement validation and GEOSCCM model comparison. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2014 July 16; 14(14): 7255-7272. DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-7255-2014.

    Tsunematsu S, Narasaki K, Okabayashi A, Otsuka K, Nishibori T, Kikuchi K.  Cryogenic System for Superconducting Submillimeter-wave Limb-Emission Sounder. TEION KOGAKU (Journal of Cryogenics and Superconductivity Society of Japan). 2014; 49(6): 301-306. DOI: 10.2221/jcsj.49.301. [Japanese]

    Hassler B, Petropavlovskikh I, Staehelin J, August T, Bhartia PK, Clerbaux C, Degenstein D, De Maziere M, Dinelli BM, Dudhia A, DuFour G, Frith SM, Froidevaux L, Godin-Beekmann S, Granville J, Harris NR, Hoppel K, Hubert D, Kasai Y, Kurylo MJ, Kyrola E, Lambert J, Levelt PF, McElroy CT, McPeters RD, Munro R, Nakajima H, Parrish A, Raspollini P, Remsberg EE, Rosenlof KH, Rozanov A, Sano T, Sasano Y, Shiotani M, Smit HG, Stiller GP, Tamminen J, Tarasick DW, Urban J, van der A RJ, Veefkind JP, Vigouroux C, von Clarmann T, von Savigny C, Walker KA, Weber M, Wild J, Zawodny JM.  Past changes in the vertical distribution of ozone - Part 1: Measurement techniques, uncertainties and availability. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 2014 May 21; 7(5): 1395-1427. DOI: 10.5194/amt-7-1395-2014.

    Smith AK, Harvey VL, Mlynczak MG, Funke B, Garcia-Comas M, Hervig M, Kaufmann M, Kyrola E, Lopez-Puertas M, McDade I, Randall CE, Russell III JM, Sheese PE, Shiotani M, Skinner WR, Suzuki M, Walker KA.  Satellite observations of ozone in the upper mesosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 2013 June 16; 118(11): 5803-5821. DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50445.

    Masuko H, Manabe T, Seta M, Kasai Y, Ochiai S, Irimajiri Y, Inatani J, Ikeda N, Nishibori T, Ozeki H, Sato R, Fujii Y, Nakajima T, Watanabe H, Kikuchi K, Koyama M.  Superconducting Submillimeter-wave Limb Emission Sounder (SMILES) onboard Japanese Experimental Module (JEM) of International Space Station (ISS). 2000 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Honolulu, HI; 2000 71-73.

    Stachnik RA, Millan L, Jarnot R, Monroe R, McLinden C, Kuhl S, Pukite J, Shiotani M, Suzuki M, Kasai Y, Goutail F, Pommereau JP, Dorf M, Pfeilsticker K.  Stratospheric BrO abundance measured by a balloon-borne submillimeterwave radiometer. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2013 March 22; 13(6): 3307-3319. DOI: 10.5194/acp-13-3307-2013.

    Sakazaki T, Shiotani M, Suzuki M, Kinnison DE, Zawodny JM, McHugh M, Walker KA.  Sunset–sunrise difference in solar occultation ozone measurements (SAGE II, HALOE, and ACE–FTS) and its relationship to tidal vertical winds. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2015 January 23; 15(4): 829-843. DOI: 10.5194/acp-15-829-2015. [Also: Sakazaki, T., M. Shiotani, M. Suzuki, D. Kinnison, J. M. Zawodny, M. McHugh, and others, ‘Sunset–sunrise Difference in Solar Occultation Ozone Measurements (SAGE II, HALOE, and ACE–FTS) and Its Relationship to Tidal Vertical Winds’, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 14 (2014), 16043–83]

    Pawson S, Steinbrecht W, Charlton-Perez AJ, Fujiwara M, Karpechko AY, Petropavlovskikh I, Urban J, Weber M.  Update on Global Ozone: Past, Present, and Future. Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2014; 2014.

    Kreyling D, Sagawa H, Wohltmann I, Lehmann R, Kasai Y.  SMILES zonal and diurnal variation climatology of stratospheric and mesospheric trace gasses: O3, HCl, HNO3, ClO, BrO, HOCl, HO2, and temperature. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 2013 October; 118: 16 pp. DOI: 10.1002/2012JD019420.

    Shiotani M, Kikuchi K, Sano T.  Mission Overview of the Superconducting Submillimeter-wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES). JASMA: Journal of the Japan Society of Microgravity Application. 2011; 28(1): 42-46. [Japanese]

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Related Websites

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image NASA Image:  ISS020E042298 - SMILES (foreground) mounted on the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM-EF).
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image SMILES mechanical cryocooler maintains a low temperature with longer orbit time. (Image credit: JAXA)
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image Component diagram of SMILES. (Image credit: JAXA)
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On January 23, 2010, SMILES observed destruction of the ozone layer at an altitude of 22 kilometers. Utilizing its high sensitivity, SMILES not only observes ozone depletion (shown in figure 1) but also captures changes in chlorine compound levels over a single day (the increase shown in figure 2 and the decrease shown in figure 3).

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