ASCENDS: Past, Present and Future

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:55 AM
Berrien Moore III, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, United States
ASCENDS: Past,Present and Future by Berrien Moore III (University of Oklahoma) and Ken Jucks (NASA) with The ASCENDS Science Working Group

The Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights,Days,and Seasons (ASCENDS) mission was recommended by the National Research Council’s Decadal Survey,and it is considered the scientific and technological next step following Japan’s Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) and NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO).Space agencies are commitment to CO2 observations:GOSAT-2:Japan is proceeding with its development;OCO-2:NASA has launched it into the A-Train;TanSat:China’s CO2 mission is in development,and CarbonSat is being considered by ESA.Using a laser,ASCENDS will make uninterrupted CO2 observations in high-latitudes,nighttime observations,and measurements in partly cloud conditions.ASCENDS expands the sampling of the atmosphere and may avoid some of the potential biases of passive systems.An issue for any mission is the linkage of observations to information regarding the subject of interest—in this case,surface fluxes of CO2.ASCENDS and the other low-Earth orbiting CO2 missions are difference from most missions in which the subject of interest is directly observed.In the case of these missions,the purpose of the atmospheric measurement is to determine surface fluxes that are distant from where the atmosphere is observed.This distinction between the subject observed and the subject of interest places added importance on the mission’s observational requirements that governs the specifications of the mission and instrument.We discuss the challenge of establishing these mission requirements and present quantitative information on mapping observations with their uncertainties to information regarding terrestrial and oceanic surface fluxes of CO2.Results from the ASCENDS Science Working Group that the link measurement requirements to flux determination (or flux uncertainty reductions) are highlighted.We discuss modeling challenges that are coupled with this next generation of space-based CO2 observations and review the history of ASCENDS and its current status.