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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 1052; doi:10.3390/rs9101052

MERLIN: A French-German Space Lidar Mission Dedicated to Atmospheric Methane

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) Oberpfaffenhofen, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, 82234 Weßling, Germany
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), LSCE-IPSL (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), IPSL, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales(CNES), 31400 Toulouse, France
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Raumfahrtmanagement (DLR), 53227 Bonn, Germany
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD), Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France
Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS), IPSL, CNRS-UVSQ-UPMC, 75005 Paris, France
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI), Helmholtz -Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
Max-Planck-Institut (MPI) für Biogeochemie, 07745 Jena, Germany
Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research Utrecht, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Faculty of Geosciences, Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), 80539 München, Germany
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading RG2 9AX, UK
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Observatoire de Paris, 75016 Paris, France
Institut Lumière Matière, UMR5306 Université Lyon 1-CNRS, Université de Lyon, 69622 Villeurbanne, France
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam—Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4855 KB, uploaded 18 October 2017]   |  


The MEthane Remote sensing Lidar missioN (MERLIN) aims at demonstrating the spaceborne active measurement of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas, based on an Integrated Path Differential Absorption (IPDA) nadir-viewing LIght Detecting and Ranging (Lidar) instrument. MERLIN is a joint French and German space mission, with a launch currently scheduled for the timeframe 2021/22. The German Space Agency (DLR) is responsible for the payload, while the platform (MYRIADE Evolutions product line) is developed by the French Space Agency (CNES). The main scientific objective of MERLIN is the delivery of weighted atmospheric columns of methane dry-air mole fractions for all latitudes throughout the year with systematic errors small enough (<3.7 ppb) to significantly improve our knowledge of methane sources from global to regional scales, with emphasis on poorly accessible regions in the tropics and at high latitudes. This paper presents the MERLIN objectives, describes the methodology and the main characteristics of the payload and of the platform, and proposes a first assessment of the error budget and its translation into expected uncertainty reduction of methane surface emissions. View Full-Text
Keywords: MERLIN; space mission; IPDA Lidar; atmospheric methane; CH4 emissions; global methane budget MERLIN; space mission; IPDA Lidar; atmospheric methane; CH4 emissions; global methane budget

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ehret, G.; Bousquet, P.; Pierangelo, C.; Alpers, M.; Millet, B.; Abshire, J.B.; Bovensmann, H.; Burrows, J.P.; Chevallier, F.; Ciais, P.; Crevoisier, C.; Fix, A.; Flamant, P.; Frankenberg, C.; Gibert, F.; Heim, B.; Heimann, M.; Houweling, S.; Hubberten, H.W.; Jöckel, P.; Law, K.; Löw, A.; Marshall, J.; Agusti-Panareda, A.; Payan, S.; Prigent, C.; Rairoux, P.; Sachs, T.; Scholze, M.; Wirth, M. MERLIN: A French-German Space Lidar Mission Dedicated to Atmospheric Methane. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1052.

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