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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111137

Potential of Spaceborne Lidar Measurements of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions from Strong Point Sources

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, D-82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
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Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases)
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Abstract

Emissions from strong point sources, primarily large power plants, are a major portion of the total CO2 emissions. International climate agreements will increasingly require their independent monitoring. A satellite-based, double-pulse, direct detection Integrated Path Differential Absorption (IPDA) Lidar with the capability to actively target point sources has the potential to usefully complement the current and future GHG observing system. This initial study uses simple approaches to determine the required Lidar characteristics and the expected skill of spaceborne Lidar plume detection and emission quantification. A Gaussian plume model simulates the CO2 or CH4 distribution downstream of the sources. A Lidar simulator provides the instrument characteristics and dimensions required to retrieve the emission rates, assuming an ideal detector configuration. The Lidar sampling frequency, the footprint distance to the emitting source and the error of an individual measurement are of great importance. If wind speed and direction are known and environmental conditions are ideal, an IPDA Lidar on a 500-km orbit with 2 W average power in the 1.6 µm CO2 absorption band, 500 Hz pulse repetition frequency, 50 m footprint at sea level and 0.7 m telescope diameter can be expected to measure CO2 emission rates of 20 Mt/a with an average accuracy better than 3% up to a distance of 3 km away from the source. CH4 point source emission rates can be quantified with comparable skill if they are larger than 10 kt/a, or if the Lidar pulse repetition frequency is augmented. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon dioxide and methane emissions; satellite remote sensing; IPDA Lidar; Gaussian plume; localized point sources carbon dioxide and methane emissions; satellite remote sensing; IPDA Lidar; Gaussian plume; localized point sources
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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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Kiemle, C.; Ehret, G.; Amediek, A.; Fix, A.; Quatrevalet, M.; Wirth, M. Potential of Spaceborne Lidar Measurements of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions from Strong Point Sources. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1137.

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