CEAS Space Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 475–483 | Cite as

The challenges of measuring methane from space with a LIDAR

  • Haris RirisEmail author
  • Kenji Numata
  • Stewart Wu
  • Molly Fahey
Original Paper


Remote sensing of methane fluxes has been highlighted as one of the measurement goals of the NASA 2017 Earth Science Decadal Survey. Measuring methane from space and airborne platforms with an active (laser) remote sensing instrument presents several technology and measurement challenges that need to be met in order to provide accurate and precise data. The instrument must be able to make continuous measurements day and night, over all seasons and at all latitudes. It must have a high signal-to-noise ratio and must be relatively immune to biases from aerosol/cloud scattering, spectroscopic and meteorological data uncertainties, and other systematic errors. In this paper, we will discuss the technology challenges, options and tradeoffs to measure methane from space and airborne platforms.


Methane Optical parametric amplifiers Optical parametric oscillators LIDAR Laser spectroscopy 



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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haris Riris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kenji Numata
    • 1
  • Stewart Wu
    • 1
  • Molly Fahey
    • 1
  1. 1.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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