Research Papers

NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory: measuring the column averaged carbon dioxide mole fraction from space

[+] Author Affiliations
David Crisp, Charles E. Miller

Earth and Space Sciences Division, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, MS 183-501, Pasadena, CA 91109

Philip L. DeCola

Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, 300 E ST SW, Washington, D.C. 20546-0001

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 2(1), 023508 (March 5, 2008). doi:10.1117/1.2898457
History: Received March 28, 2007; Revised December 1, 2007; Accepted February 21, 2008; March 5, 2008
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Abstract

The NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) will make space-based measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2>) with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to characterize regional scale CO2> sources and sinks and quantify their vari¬ability over the seasonal cycle. This mission will be launched in December 2008 and will fly in a 705 km altitude, 1:26 PM sun-synchronous orbit that provides complete coverage of the sunlit hemisphere with a 16-day ground track repeat cycle. OCO carries a single instrument designed to make co-boresighted spectroscopic measurements of reflected sunlight in near-infrared CO2> and molecular oxygen (O2>) bands. These CO2> and O2> measurements will be combined to provide spatially resolved estimates of the column averaged CO2> dry air mole fraction, XCO2>. The instrument collects 12 to 24 XCO2> soundings/second over the sunlit portion of the orbit, yielding 200 to 400 soundings per degree of latitude, or 7 to 14 million soundings every 16 days. Existing studies indicate that at least 10% of these soundings will be sufficiently cloud free to yield XCO2> estimates with accuracies of ~0.3 to 0.5% (1 to 2 ppm) on regional scales every month.

© 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

David Crisp ; Charles E. Miller and Philip L. DeCola
"NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory: measuring the column averaged carbon dioxide mole fraction from space", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 2(1), 023508 (March 5, 2008). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2898457


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