The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) satellite failed to reach orbit during its launch in February 2009. This mission was designed to obtain highly precise and accurate column average abundances of atmospheric CO2 on a global basis with a 16-day repeat cycle. The goal for these data was to make much improved inferences of the sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2 compared to what is available with the currently existing data sets. NASA is committed to the advancing the science behind the design of OCO in order to be prepared to maximize the use of data from a potential OCO reflight.
To that end, NASA is soliciting a call for proposals to improve our understanding of how global atmospheric observations of atmospheric CO2 can be used to quantify fluxes of CO2 between the atmosphere and biosphere. While observations of total atmospheric column CO2 from OCO do not exist, numerous other satellite and ground based observations of total column CO2 do exist. Observations of the thermal infrared bands of CO2 from instruments like TES on Aura, AIRS on Aqua, and IASI on MetOp-1 have maximized sensitivity to CO2 in the middle and upper troposphere. Observations of CO2 over land from the SCIAMACHY instrument on EnviSAT and globally on the GOSAT satellite have more sensitivity to CO2 near the surface. Plus, the ground based validation network set up for OCO and GOSAT (the TCCON network) provides very precise total column CO2 at specified locations around the globe. NASA envisions studies using all of these data sources to improve the modeling of CO2 fluxes.
No Notices of Intent to propose are requested. Proposals are due March 1, 2010.
Questions concerning the Atmospheric CO2 Observations from Space program may be addressed to Kenneth Jucks or (202) 358-0476.