Day 4

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Paper title The NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility Spectral Atmospheric Suite (SAS) -- a portable trace gas measurement network for GHG validation studies
  1. Robbie Ramsay NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility Speaker
  2. Andrew Gray University of Edinburgh
  3. Jack Gillespie NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility
  4. Mathew Williams National Centre for Earth Observation - University of Edinburgh
Form of presentation Poster
  • A1. Atmosphere
    • A1.04 Greenhouse Gases
Abstract text Satellite observations of greenhouse gases (GHG) are greatly enhanced when used in conjunction with ground-based sensor networks. By using clusters of spectroscopic instruments measuring GHG column abundances at locations along the satellite overpass, critical validation data for satellite GHG measurements can be provided.

In particular, missions such as NASA OCO-3 and the upcoming UKSA-CNES MicroCarb – which will provide measurements of CO2 over cities – would be aided by the presence of such ground based networks around and within urban areas. These would act as both validation sites for satellite GHG measurements, and as a long term measurement network of GHG column abundances, improving the understanding of carbon dynamics within urban areas.

However, there has previously existed a gap in the provision of such ground based networks, due to expense, infrastructure concerns, and the ability to provide autonomously acquired, high resolution data. This issue is exacerbated in areas of restricted or minimal site infrastructure, such as in city centres or remote site locations of interest e.g. peatlands, tropical forests. To fill this gap, the NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility (FSF) has developed the Spectral Atmospheric Suite (SAS), a suite of high resolution, portable and autonomous spectroscopic instruments which can be deployed by FSF as a cluster network, available for research communities in the UK and internationally.

The SAS consists of three discrete instrument “nodes”, which can be deployed individually or as part of a network cluster. Each instrument node consists of a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer (the EM27/SUN (Bruker GmbH, Germany), spectral range: 5,000 – 14,500 cm-1), measuring the column abundances of CO2, CH4 and CO; a 2D MAX-DOAS (the 2D SkySpec (AirYX GmbH, Germany), spectral range: 300 – 565 nm), measuring the slant column densities of a range of trace gases including NO2 and SO2; an automatic weather station (Vaisala, Finland) measuring meteorological parameters required for the retrievals of GHGs and trace gases; and a sun-sky-lunar sunphotometer (CIMEL Electronic, France), measuring aerosol optical thickness. Combined, each node represents an autonomous “miniature supersite”, capable of providing long term measurements as a ground based validation site for satellite measurements of GHGs and other trace gases. Each node is portable and has a low spatial footprint, allowing for easy deployment in areas of minimal or restricted infrastructure, such as city centres or remote wetland regions.

We present here an overview of the NERC FSF Spectral Atmospheric Suite and how, as part of its current deployment until 2022 with the University of Leicester’s London Carbon Emissions Experiment, it will provide a ground based validation site for upcoming missions such as UKSA-CNES MicroCarb.