Science Team for the OCO Missions (ROSES 2017) -- Deadline Extended

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Proposals are solicited for participation in the Science Team for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) Missions.

NASA launched the OCO-2 mission in July 2014, and it has been operating on orbit producing precise column average CO2 concentration data globally with validated precision and accuracy of better than 0.5% globally since September 2014. Given that the OCO-2 project did not require use of the flight spare instrument built as part of that project, it has been made available for a mission of opportunity on a NASA selected platform as a successor project to the OCO-2 mission. That mission, OCO-3, calls for the flight spare to be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2018, and is now in development. 

Both of these missions are following the successful Greenhouse gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) mission from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which launched in 2009. The OCO-2 project, and currently existing science team, have been working closely with the GOSAT project to best assure accuracy and consistency in the data products from all three missions (GOSAT, OCO-2, OCO-3). The primary goal of both OCO missions is to make global observations of column abundances of atmospheric CO2 to better understand the processes that control this important greenhouse gas. These processes include exchange between the atmosphere and oceans and terrestrial biosphere, and emissions from anthropogenic sources. Global observations from a satellite are desired because they provide a significantly more dense set of data over a much wider range of conditions than can be provided by surface observations alone. These observations of abundances of CO2 require precisions and accuracies of better than 0.3% (or 1 ppm), which are significantly lower than variations seen both globally and regionally, and with sensitivity to the boundary layer of the atmosphere. 

These observations are obtained through retrievals from high precision, high resolution, near infrared spectra of two CO2 channels and one channel of the O2 A-band in nadir viewing solar reflection geometries. The latter is to ensure knowledge of the dry air column of the same air mass as observed by the co-aligned CO2 channels. Dividing the CO2 column by the dry air mass column provides average column dry air mixing ratios (XCO2). These observations produce narrow swath (10.3 km), narrow footprint (3 km2 ) observations around the globe with an observational repeat cycle of 16 days. The small footprint was chosen to reduce the influences of cloud and aerosol contamination in the observed spectra to better ensure reduced systematic uncertainties in the retrieved abundances. 

The OCO-2 mission has now been operating for more than the two years of prime mission, and is now in extended operations. A number of versions of the data products have been made available to the research community through the NASA Goddard Earth Science Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC), and a new version is expected to be available in the middle of 2017. Hence, most of the desired contributions to the OCO-2 team will be for science analysis of the data sets to effectively advance the science goals of OCO-2. There are some focused activities being solicited that have the goal of allowing the production of improved data products in the future, and in the future that can also be applied to OCO-3. The OCO-3 project should complete its development during the three years of this program element and be deployed roughly 18 months after the selected projects begin. OCO-3 specific tasks will focus on ensuring the taking advantage of the unique observational characteristics of OCO-3 relative to OCO-2, and to ensure consistent data quality between the two missions. 

Proposals Due: Sep. 28, 2017 (was Sep. 14, 2017)




Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

September 28, 2017