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Local Weather
Oberpfaffenhofen

The MOPITT instrument is provided under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Combined with concerted modeling efforts, MOPITT helps create the first global and long-term picture of the composition of the lower atmosphere. MOPITT divides the globe into approximately 1,000,000 individual cells, or "pixels", and makes a measurement over each one every four days. Each pixel is about 22 kilometers square, small enough so that emissions from individual cities can be measured. MOPITT makes measurements of infrared radiation originating from the surface of the planet and isolate the energy being radiated from CO and CH4 molecules by using a technique called gas correlation spectroscopy. Furthermore it is also the first instrument to simultaneously monitor two important atmospheric chemical species, carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4).

Objectives

  • Measure and model carbon monoxide and methane concentrations in the troposphere.
  • Obtain carbon monoxide profiles with a resolution of 22 km horizontally and 3 km vertically, with an accuracy of 10 percent.
  • Measure the methane column in the troposphere with a resolution of 22 km and a precision of better than 1 percent.
  • Generate global maps of carbon monoxide and methane distribution, and provide increased knowledge of tropospheric chemistry.

Instrument

MOPITT is the first satellite sensor to use gas correlation spectroscopy is a four channel correlation spectrometer with cross-track scanning. The sensor measures emitted and reflected radiance from the Earth in three spectral bands. As this light enters the sensor, it passes along two different paths through onboard containers of carbon monoxide and methane. The different paths absorb different amounts of energy, leading to small differences in the resulting signals that correlate with the presence of these gases in the atmosphere.

MOPITT's spatial resolution is 22 km at nadir and it 'sees' the Earth in swaths that are 640 km wide. Moreover, it can measure the concentrations of carbon monoxide in 5-km layers down a vertical column of atmosphere, to help scientists track the gas back to its sources.

Data Access

General Data Product Level Definition

MOPITT data at the National Center for Atmospheric Research

MOPITT data processing initially occurs at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado. Scientists receive the raw instrument data on a daily basis and process the readings into distributions of carbon monoxide and methane over the surface of the planet.

The data is accessible by contacting NASA Langley DAAC and through EOS Data Gateway.

The Terra Platform

Terra is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary mission involving partnerships with the aerospace agencies of Canada and Japan. Managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the mission also receives key contributions from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Langley Research Center. It is the flagship of the Earth Observing System, a series of spacecraft that represent the next landmark step in NASA's role to observe Earth from the unique vantage point of space. Focused of key measurements identified by a consensus of U.S. and international scientists, Terra enables new research into the ways that Earth's lands, oceans, air, ice, and life function as a total environmental system.

Launch Date December 18 1999, Vandenberg AFB, CA
Instruments
  • Advanced Spaceborn Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)
  • Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES)
  • Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR)
  • Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer(MODIS)
  • Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT)
Orbit Sun-synchronous, polar Orbit
Altitude 705 km
Orbit Inclination 98.2 degrees
Orbit Descending Node 10:30 am local time, +/- 15 min
Mission life 6 years design life

Additional information available at the Terra web site.

Links

Contact

If you would like to have more information about the MOPITT data, please contact wdc@dlr.de.