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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 06 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Spectral Sizing of a Coarse Spectral Resolution Satellite Sensor for XCO2

Jonas Simon Wilzewski1,2, Anke Roiger1, Johan Strandgren1, Jochen Landgraf3, Dietrich G. Feist1,4, Voltaire A. Velazco5, Nicholas M. Deutscher5, Isamu Morino6, Hirofumi Ohyama6, Yao Té7, Rigel Kivi8, Thorsten Warneke9, Justus Notholt9, Manvendra Dubey10, Ralf Sussmann11, Markus Rettinger11, Frank Hase12, Kei Shiomi13, and André Butz14 Jonas Simon Wilzewski et al.
  • 1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Meteorological Institute Munich, Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
  • 3Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 4Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 5Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
  • 6National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
  • 7LERMA-IPSL, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, Université PSL, 75005, Paris, France
  • 8Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI, Sodankylä, Finland
  • 9Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 10Earth System Observations, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
  • 11Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, IMK-IFU, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 12Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, IMK-ASF, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 13Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 14Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Abstract. Verifying anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally is essential to inform about the progress of institutional efforts to mitigate man-made climate forcing. To monitor localized emission sources, spectroscopic satellite sensors have been proposed that operate on the CO2 absorption bands in the shortwave-infrared (SWIR) spectral range with ground resolution as fine as a few tens to about a hundred meters. When designing such sensors, fine ground resolution requires a trade-off towards coarse spectral resolution in order to achieve sufficient noise performance. Since fine ground resolution also implies limited ground coverage, such sensors are envisioned to fly in fleets of satellites, requiring low-cost and simple design, e.g. by restricting the spectrometer to a single spectral band.

Here, we use measurements of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) to evaluate the spectral resolution and spectral band selection of a prospective satellite sensor with fine ground resolution. To this end, we degrade GOSAT SWIR spectra of the CO2 bands at 1.6 (SWIR-1) and 2.0 μm (SWIR-2) to coarse spectral resolution, and we evaluate retrievals of the column-averaged dry-air mole-fractions of CO2 (XCO2) by comparison to ground-truth provided by the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) and by comparison to global native GOSAT retrievals with native spectral resolution and spectral band selection. Coarsening spectral resolution from GOSAT's native resolving power of > 20,000 to the range of 700 to a few thousand makes the scatter of differences between the SWIR-1 and SWIR-2 retrievals and TCCON increase moderately. For resolving powers of 1,600 (SWIR-1) and 1,200 (SWIR-2), the scatter increases from 2.4 ppm (native) to 3.0 ppm for SWIR-1 and 3.3 ppm for SWIR-2. Coarser spectral resolution yields only marginally worse performance than the native GOSAT configuration in terms of station-to-station variability and geophysical parameter correlations for the TCCON-GOSAT differences. Comparing the SWIR-1 and SWIR-2 configurations to native GOSAT retrievals on the global scale, however, reveals that the coarse resolution SWIR-1 and SWIR-2 configurations suffer from some spurious correlations with geophysical parameters that characterize the light-scattering properties of the scene such as particle amount, size, height and surface albedo. Overall, the SWIR-1 and SWIR-2 configurations with resolving powers of 1,600 and 1,200 show promising performance for future sensor design in terms of random error sources while residual errors induced by light-scattering along the lightpath need to be investigated further. Due to the stronger CO2 absorption bands in SWIR-2 than in SWIR-1, the former has the advantage that measurement noise propagates less into the retrieved XCO2 and that some retrieval information on particle scattering properties is accessible.

Jonas Simon Wilzewski et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Jonas Simon Wilzewski et al.
Jonas Simon Wilzewski et al.
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