The New MERLIN Lidar Instrument: Science & Long Term Monitoring | 18571
Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
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After water vapor and carbon dioxide, Methane is the most abundant greenhousegas in the Earth atmosphere. The new
generation space borneLidar mission MERLIN (Methane Remote Sensing Lidar Mission) will make very sensitive
measurements of the Methane distribution with unprecedented quality. It will provide 50km averaged methane column
measurements. It will therefore offerthe necessary sensitivity to probe Methane fluxes, over different key geographical areas,
with better than 2% accuracy. MERLIN will eventually track down the Methane sources and sinks on a global scale.
During the commissioning and routine operations phase, the task of long-term instrument monitoring is one of the
key ground segment functions. It tracks the behavior of the instrument and its subsystems. It monitorsthe instrument?s
performancein response to expected or unexpected natural events or technical situations. This is achieved by analyzing the
measurement data and housekeeping information over different time frames. Long-term monitoring allows a close follow up
of the mission scientific results to ensure high quality data acquisition and instrument?s consistent performances with mission
planning. We present our strategy to develop the MERLINlong-term monitoring functionality and how this is based on our
expertise in previous missions, e.g. SCIAMACHY.
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