Carbon Mapper mission
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Spectrometer to Locate Major Greenhouse Gas Emitters
An imaging spectrometer designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to measure carbon dioxide and methane has arrived at a Planet Labs facility in San Francisco to await its integration onto a satellite.
Planet Labs is part of a public-private coalition led by nonprofit organization Carbon Mapper seeking to gather greenhouse gas point-source emissions data. The spectrometer is intended to shed light on super-emitters, which are individual sources that produce large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide emissions.
According to JPL, such compounds leave unique infrared signatures due to how they absorb light wavelengths. The instrument will be used to identify and measure emission levels to inform mitigation efforts.
The spectrometer was subjected to vibration and temperature tests to simulate conditions in space. Robert Green, JPL’s instrument scientist, noted that it was able to produce a clear spectral fingerprint of methane in a vacuum chamber test.
Tags: carbon emissions Carbon Mapper greenhouse gas Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA Planet Labs space spectrometer