Real-time remote detection and measurement for airborne imaging spectroscopy: a case study with methane

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Thompson, D. R. ; Leifer, I. ; Bovensmann, H. ; Eastwood, M. ; Fladeland, M. ; Frankenberg, C. ; Gerilowski, K. ; Green, R. O. ; Kratwurst, S. ; Krings, T. ; Luna, B. ; Thorpe, A. K. (2015)
  • Publisher: Copernicus Publications
  • Journal: (issn: 1867-8548, eissn: 1867-8548)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.5194/amt-8-4383-2015
  • Subject: TA170-171 | Earthwork. Foundations | Environmental engineering | TA715-787

Localized anthropogenic sources of atmospheric CH<sub>4</sub> 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 CO<sub>2</sub> and MEthane eXperiment (COMEX) campaign in California during June and August/September 2014. COMEX was a multi-platform campaign to measure CH<sub>4</sub> 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 CH<sub>4</sub> plumes in real-time at Gb s<sup>−1</sup> data rates, characterizing fugitive releases in concert with other in situ and remote instruments. The teams used these real-time CH<sub>4</sub> 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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