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D. R. Thompson; I. Leifer; H. Bovensmann; M. Eastwood; M. Fladeland; C. Frankenberg; K. Gerilowski; R. O. Green; S. Kratwurst; T. Krings; B. Luna; A. K. Thorpe (2015)
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: TA170-171, Earthwork. Foundations, Environmental engineering, TA715-787
Localized anthropogenic sources of atmospheric CH4 are highly uncertain and temporally variable. Airborne remote measurement is an effective method to detect and quantify these emissions. In a campaign context, the science yield can be dramatically increased by real-time retrievals that allow operators to coordinate multiple measurements of the most active areas. This can improve science outcomes for both single- and multiple-platform missions. We describe a case study of the NASA/ESA CO2 and MEthane eXperiment (COMEX) campaign in California during June and August/September 2014. COMEX was a multi-platform campaign to measure CH4 plumes released from anthropogenic sources including oil and gas infrastructure. We discuss principles for real-time spectral signature detection and measurement, and report performance on the NASA Next Generation Airborne Visible Infrared Spectrometer (AVIRIS-NG). AVIRIS-NG successfully detected CH4 plumes in real-time at Gb s−1 data rates, characterizing fugitive releases in concert with other in situ and remote instruments. The teams used these real-time CH4 detections to coordinate measurements across multiple platforms, including airborne in situ, airborne non-imaging remote sensing, and ground-based in situ instruments. To our knowledge this is the first reported use of real-time trace-gas signature detection in an airborne science campaign, and presages many future applications. Post-analysis demonstrates matched filter methods providing noise-equivalent (1σ) detection sensitivity for 1.0 % CH4 column enhancements equal to 141 ppm m.

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