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Published March 2012 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The Geostationary Carbon Process Mapper


The Geostationary Carbon Process Mapper (GCPM) is an earth science mission to measure key atmospheric trace gases and process tracers related to climate change and human activity. The measurement strategy delivers a process based understanding of the carbon cycle that is accurate and extensible from city to regional and continental scales. This understanding comes from contiguous maps of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), and chlorophyll fluorescence (CF) collected up to 10 times per day at high spatial resolution (~4km × 4km) from geostationary orbit (GEO). These measurements will capture the spatial and temporal variability of the carbon cycle across diurnal, synoptic, seasonal and interannual time scales. The CO2/CH4/CO/CF measurement suite has been specifically selected because their combination provides the information needed to disentangle natural and anthropogenic contributions to atmospheric carbon concentrations and to minimize key uncertainties in the flow of carbon between the atmosphere and surface since they place constraints on both biogenic uptake and release as well as on combustion emissions. Additionally, GCPM's combination of high-resolution mapping and high measurement frequency provide quasi-continuous monitoring, effectively eliminating atmospheric transport uncertainties from source/sink inversion modeling. GCPM uses a single instrument, the "Geostationary Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GeoFTS)" to make measurements in the near infrared spectral region at high spectral resolution. The GeoFTS is a half meter cube size instrument designed to be a secondary "hosted" payload on a commercial GEO satellite. NASA and other government agencies have adopted the hosted payload implementation approach because it substantially reduces the overall mission cost. This paper presents a hosted payload implementation approach for measuring the major carbon-containing gases in the atmosphere from the geostationary vantage point, to affordably advance the scientific understating of carbon cycle processes and climate change.

Additional Information

Copyright 2012, California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged. Date of Conference: 3-10 March 2012. The research described in this publication was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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