Dr. Roland Leigh

Roland Leigh
Lecturer, Climate Change Adaptation Technology
NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow
Email: R.J.Leigh@Leicester.ac.uk

Tel: [+44] (0)116 229 7711
Fax: [+44] (0)116 252 2464
Room: SRC Annexe, L1-002

Postal Address:
Earth Observation Science, Space Research Centre, Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester,

Primary Research Areas

Climate Change Adaptation Technology

The field of Climate Change Adaptation Technologies draws upon a wide range of academic and industrial disciplines to identify and create solutions to challenges created by climate change. Such challenges include implications of changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, with knock-on effects on key systems including agriculture, hydrology and atmospheric chemistry. My current research is predominantly focussed on urban management systems, with particular reference to transport and air quality.

CityScan - A novel "Pollution radar"

In a project jointly funded by the NERC Follow-on-Fund, and the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation, two concentric imaging spectrometers are being built during 2009 at the University of Leicester, to designs by Surrey Satellite Systems Ltd.


These will be used in 2011 to demonstrate capabilities in emission monitoring, dynamics determination and air quality assessment in urban, harbour and airport environments.


In particular, the spatial extent of nitrogen dioxide concentrations across an urban environment will be retrieved, demonstrating a potentially valuable new tool for air quality monitoring.

CityScan Conceptual Design

UK SOLAS campaign in Cape Verde - 2008/9

The University of Leicester is participating from 2008 to 2010 in the UK SOLAS measurement campaign on the Cape Verde Islands. The objectives for the University of Leicester are as follows:

a) to quantify the fast photochemical budget of the oxidative chemistry in the tropical marine boundary layer using
observed correlations and comparisons of measured and model-predicted behaviour. b) to quantify the roles of oxygenated species on photochemistry and the radical budget in the remote marine atmosphere,
c) to assess the controlling features of tropical MBL reactive sink (and source) terms for ozone, methane, and oVOCs
d) to investigate the spatial distribution of glyoxal over the lower layer of the atmosphere.

Targetted field deployments at the UK SOLAS observatory in the Cape Verde islands will be used to investigate the linkages between peroxy radical and oVOC chemistry.

Cape Verde Research Station

The Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI)

A consortium of the University of Leicester, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and Astrium UK are developing cutting edge technologies and techniques for measuring air quality from space with a compact new spectrometer design. Poor air quality brings forward a large number deaths per year and earth observation satellite instrumentation can help to provide near real-time data for air pollution weather forecasts to alleviate health problems. The technology developed in this project will allow the measurement of key air quality indicators such as aerosol, ozone and nitrogen dioxide in the lowest layers of the atmosphere. The technology challenge of this project is to achieve accurate trace gas concentrations measurements over a pixel area of only 5 km x 5 km, all within a very compact design. This project brings together national industrial and academic leaders in these areas to significantly enhance the UK’s competitiveness in air quality monitoring from space. Future launch possibilities with ESA and other agencies have already been identified. For more information on these projects, please follow the links on our CEOI webpage.

For details of work on concentric spectrometers, see Whyte et al. 2010

Former Research Areas

LAMP - The Leicester Air Quality Measurement Project

LAMP ran from 16th July to 31st September 2007 and was dedicated to bringing together measurements of air quality to provide an enhanced view of urban atmospheric chemistry in Leicester.
Publications coming 2010 with LAMP data. See the LAMP campaign page here for details of the campaign.

Burned area detection and validation from Satellites

Recent work has included investigations into the accuracy of burned area detection algorithms from satellites such as SPOT-4. This includes the development of validation software for comparison of burned area products from different sensors with different resolutions (SPOT-4 and LandSat). For more information on the new L3JRC product connected with this work, go here.

See Publications on this work below.

The Development of Concurrent MAX-DOAS instruments and applications

As part of my PhD from 2001-2004 I developed version 1.0 of Leicester's CMAX-DOAS instrument, and continue to be involved with its development and application.

The new Leicester UV-VIS scattered light concurrent multi-axis DOAS (CMAX-DOAS) system advances the concept of concurrent measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and other trace species from multiple viewing angles all imaged on a single CCD.The technique of multi-axis DOAS has been advanced by several groups over the last few years, primarily using a motorised telescope or mirror assembly to take sequential images along different viewing geometries.

The Leicester CMAX-DOAS system is based on the concept of observing several viewing geometries simultaneously, utilising an instrument that concurrently images multiple telescope outputs onto a single CCD, through the use of an imaging spectrometer and a multi-track fibre-optic. This configuration provides the advantages of a reasonably compact optical system coupled to the ability to make rapid concurrent spectral measurements. However, there are potential drawbacks of such a system which include lower achievable signal-to-noise ratios, a limitation on the availability of detector space and problems optimizing detector usage.

The Leicester system was tested for the first time during the NAMBLEX (North Atlantic Marine Boundary Layer Experiment) campaign in Ireland in 2002, formed part of the NDSC inter-comparison campaign in Andøya, Norway in 2003 and has most recently been deployed in Roscoff in 2006. The system is now installed on the roof of the Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester collecting a longer time series.

Full details of the project can be found in my PhD Thesis (.pdf) here

There is also a simpler instrument description here

See Publications on this work below (Leigh, 2006, Leigh et al. 2006, Leigh et al. 2007, Kramer et al. 2008)

MIPAS Cloud Indices, reference atmospheres and climatologies.

Previous work included the development of new IG_2 climatolgies, specifically for use in processing of MIPAS data. These climatologies give a first guess approximation of the concentration of a number of key gases at a given latitude, altitude and season. Details of these new climatologies can be found here. Species included in these climatologies are as follows: p/T, C2H2, CO2, F12, HCN, NH3, SF6, C2H6, CO, F13, HNO3, NO2, SO2, CCl4, CO, F2, F14, HNO4, NO, CH3Cl, F113, F21, HOCl, O2, CH4, F114, F22, N2, O3, ClO, F115, H2O2, N2O5, OCS, ClONO2, F11, H2O, N2O.
A poster presented at the 2007 Envisat Symposium can be found here
An Extended abstract on these new climatologies can be found here
Our latest paper can be found here

Selected Publications and Presentations

Journal Publications

DOAS and Air Quality

Whyte, C., R. J. Leigh, D. Lobb, T. Williams, J. J. Remedios, M. Cutter, and P.S. Monks, Assessment of the performance of a compact concentric spectrometer system for Atmospheric Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2, 789-800, 2009

Kramer, L. J., R. J. Leigh, J. J. Remedios, and P. S. Monks (2008), Comparison of OMI and ground-based in situ and MAX-DOAS measurements of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide in an urban area, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D16S39, doi:10.1029/2007JD009168.

Leigh, R. J., G. K. Corlett, U. Friess, and P. S. Monks,
"Spatially resolved measurements of nitrogen dioxide in an urban environment using concurrent multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy
" Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 4751–4762, 2007".

Leigh, R. J., G. K. Corlett, U. Frieß, and P. S. Monks
A concurrent multiaxis differential optical absorption spectroscopy system for the measurement of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide
Applied Optics, 45, No. 28, 2006 - See citations on scopus here

A. C. Vandaele, C. Fayt, F. Hendrick, C. Hermans, F. Humbled, M. Van Roozendael, M. Gil, M. Navarro, O. Puentedura, M. Yela, G. Braathen, K. Stebel, K. Tørnkvist, P. Johnston, K. Kreher, F. Goutail, A. Mieville, J.-P. Pommereau, S. Khaikine, A. Richter, H. Oetjen, F. Wittrock, S. Bugarski, U. Frieß, K. Pfeilsticker, R. Sinreich, T. Wagner, G. Corlett, and R. Leigh
See citations on scopus here
An intercomparison campaign of ground-based UV-visible measurements of NO2, BrO, and OClO slant columns: Methods of analysis and results for NO2
Journal of Geophysical Reasearch, 110 D08305, doi:10.1029/2004JD005423, 2005.

Reference Atmospheres

Remedios, J.J., R. J. Leigh, A. M. Waterfall, D. P. Moore, H. Sembhi, I. Parkes, J. Greenhough, M. P. Chipperfield and D. Hauglustaine.
MIPAS Reference Atmospheres and comparisons to v4.61/v4.62 MIPAS level 2 geophysical data sets.
ACPD - in online review

Burned area validation

Tansey, K. J., J-M. Gregoire, P. Defourny, R. J. Leigh, J-F. Pekel, E. v Bogaert and E. Bartholome, A new, global, multi-annual (2000-2007) burnt area product at 1 km resolution and daily intervals, Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 35, No. 1, L01401, 10.1029/2007GL031567


J. J. Remedios, R. J. Leigh and P. S. Monks, Earth Observation Instrumentation Challenges in the Observation of the Land Surface, CEOI reports, Jan 2008

J. J. Remedios, R. J. Leigh and P. S. Monks, Earth Observation Instrumentation Challenges in the Observation of the Ocean, CEOI reports, Jan 2008

J. J. Remedios, R. J. Leigh and P. S. Monks, Earth Observation Instrumentation Challenges in the Observation of the Atmosphere, CEOI reports, Jan 2008

J. J. Remedios, R. J. Leigh and P. S. Monks, Earth Observation Instrumentation Challenges in the Observation of the Cryosphere, CEOI reports, Jan 2008

J. J. Remedios, R. J. Leigh and P. S. Monks, Earth Observation Instrumentation Challenges in the Observation of the Solid Earth, CEOI reports, Jan 2008

Kevin Tansey, Jean-Marie Grégoire, Jose Pereira, Pierre Defourny, Roland Leigh, Jean-François Pekel, Ana Barros, Joao Silva, Eric van Bogaert, Etienne Bartholomé, Sophie Bontemps, L3JRC - A GLOBAL, MULTI-YEAR (2000-2007) BURNT AREA PRODUCT (1 KM RESOLUTION AND DAILY TIME STEPS), Joint Research Council Reports, 2007

Conference Papers, News Articles and "informal" presentations

A good introduction to CMAX-DOAS measurements in urban environments - Poster presented at a recent postgraduate festival by Louisa Kramer.

Some of the most recent results from the instrument, A Poster presented at the DOAS workshop in Bremen, March 2006 by Louisa Kramer

R. J. Leigh, P.S. Monks
Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 24, 9, pp v-viiii, 2005
City Scale Air Pollution Measured For The First Time

Remedios, J.J., R. J. Leigh, H Sembhi and A. M. Waterfall, New Seasonal IG2 Climatologies for MIPAS, Extended Abstract - ENVISAT Symposium, Montreux 2007

Tansey, K, J-M Gregoire, J.M.C. Pereira, P. Defourny, R. J. Leigh, A. Barros, J-F Pekel, J. M. Silva, E v. Bogaert, E. Bartholome, S. Bontemps, "A global, multi-year (2000-2007), validated burnt area product (L3JRC) derived from daily SPOT VEGETATION data" 6th International Workshop of the EARSeL Special Interest Group (SIG) on Forest Fires, Greece, Sept 2007

Plummer, S. O. Arino, F. Ranera, K. J. Tansey, J. Chen, G. Dedieu, H. Eva, I. Piccolini, R. J. Leigh, G. Borstlap, B. Beusen, W. Heyns, R. Benedetti, The GLOBCARBON Initiative: Global Biophysical Products for Terrestrial Carbon Studies, IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Barcelona, July 2007

Remedios, J. J., Parker, R. J., Panchal, M., Leigh, R. J., and Corlett,G. Signatures of atmospheric and surface climate variables through analyses of infrared spectra (SATSCAN-IR), Proceedings of the first EPS/METOP RAO Workshop, ESRIN, 2006.

R. J. Leigh, A Concurrent MAX-DOAS System for the Measurement of Nitrogen Dioxide and other Trace Species

Links to related work

U. Frieß, P. S. Monks, J. J. Remedios, A. Rozanov, R. Sinreich, T. Wagner, U. Platt
Journal Of Geophysical Research, 111, D14203, doi:10.1029/2005JD006618, 2006
MAX-DOAS O4 measurements: A new technique to derive information on atmospheric aerosols: 2. Modeling studies


IUP Bremen (Main DOAS site, including satellite DOAS measurements).

Click here to go to my Software Download Page


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UPDATED: 26th June 2007
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