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Science Studies - Atmosphere
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  Instrument Design: Atmosphere

Ongoing studies continue to refine GEO-CAPE measurement and instrument requirements. Specific instruments for GEO-CAPE have not yet been selected. At this preliminary stage, several concepts are being studied to ensure that a range of potential instruments can meet GEO-CAPE requirements.

The Science Traceability Matrix [PDF] shows the species to be measured by GEO-CAPE, the scientific objectives to which they respond, and the corresponding measurement requirements. Ozone, aerosols, and an ensemble of precursors are included to better understand the related sources, transport, chemistry, and climate forcing. Methane is included because of its importance as a greenhouse gas. CO and O3 retrievals include two pieces of information in the troposphere, including sensitivity below 2 km, in order to discriminate near-surface pollution and to better characterize pollutant transport. The measureŽment of aerosol optical depth (AOD) is complemented by aerosol absorption optical depth (AAOD), aerosol index (AI), and height [aerosol optical centroid height (AOCH)]. A higher spatial resolution cloud camera will be included to avoid cloud contamination in the retrieved products.

The attainment of a trace-gas quantity in the lowermost troposphere (LMT) will be achieved through a multispectral approach to provide daytime information on CO and potentially ozone. In addition to the ultraviolet (UV), ozone also has absorption features in the visible (VIS) and thermal infrared (TIR) ranges that can provide information on its vertical distribution within the troposphere. Because of its importance in so many aspects of atmospheric chemistry, an accurate measurement of O3 with as much vertical resolution as possible in the troposphere is desirable. The ability to retrieve concentrations in the LMT is important for the characterization of pollution sources, and when combined with a free troposphere profile, also allows local production to be discriminated from transported pollution.

Several instrument concepts have been advanced which could meet the needs of GEO-CAPE Atmospheric Science, ranging from a single instrument with a wide spectral range [PDF] to combinations of complementary instruments which encompass the suite [PPT] of necessary measurements. Many of these designs [PPT] have been supported by the Earth Science Technology Office.

Instrument Design: Ocean




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