Advancements in Algorithms for the Retrieval of CO2 Column Amount and Path Length Using an Intensity-Modulated Continuous-Wave Lidar

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Fenton W Harrison1, Bing Lin1, Syed Ismail1, Amin R Nehrir1, Jeremy T Dobler2, Edward V Browell3, Susan A Kooi4, Joel F Campbell1, Michael D Obland1, Melissa M Yang1 and Byron Meadows1, (1)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (2)ITT Space Systems, LLC, Fort Wayne, IN, United States, (3)STARSS II Affiliate, Hampton, VA, United States, (4)Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Hampton, Hampton, VA, United States
This paper presents an overview of the methods for the retrieval of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) column amounts and their associated path lengths measured by the Multi-Functional Fiber Laser Lidar (MFLL) and the ASCENDS CarbonHawk Experiment Simulator (ACES). MFLL and ACES are multi-frequency, Intensity-Modulated, Continuous-Wave (IM-CW) Lidar systems developed as proof-of-concept demonstrators for NASA’s Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS) mission. The National Research Council identified ASCENDS in 2007 as an important mid-term decadal survey mission to provide measurements critical to improved projections of the Earth’s future climate.

The ASCENDS measurement requirements have evolved significantly since first proposed by the NRC as has our understanding of the IM-CW measurement technique we propose for use by ASCENDS. To meet these requirements, both MFLL and ACES transmit wavelengths near 1.57 and 1.26 μm modulated with range-encoded signals to minimize bias from thin clouds in the CO2 and O2 column measurements while simultaneously measuring the path length to the surface and to intervening cloud layers.

In preparation for the ASCENDS mission, the MFLL has been deployed on 13 airborne field campaigns since 2005, including the latest series of flights in August 2014. NASA also flew the ACES instrument as a technology demonstrator in 2014. In this paper we describe the current ASCENDS retrieval technique and present the accuracy and precision of the measurements obtained using this technique. We also present a reanalysis of the 2011 MFLL measurements and compare the results previously reported to the reanalysis. Reanalysis yields range precisions of less that one meter from an altitude of 12 kilometers from the CO2 offline channel with 1.6 watts of transmitted power.