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MERLIN: A French-German Space Lidar Mission Dedicated to Atmospheric Methane

Gerhard Ehret 1 Philippe Bousquet 2, 3 Clémence Pierangelo 4 Matthias Alpers 5 Bruno Millet 4 James Abshire 6 Heinrich Bovensmann 7 John Burrows 7 Frédéric Chevallier 2, 3 Philippe Ciais 2, 8 Cyril Crevoisier 9 Andreas Fix 1 Pierre Flamant 9, 10 Christian Frankenberg 11 Fabien Gibert 9 Birgit Heim 12 Martin Heimann 13, 14 Sander Houweling 15, 16, 17 Hans Hubberten 12 Patrick Jöckel 1 Kathy S. Law 10 Alexander Löw 18 Julia Marshall 19 Anna Agusti-Panareda 20 Sébastien Payen 10 Catherine Prigent 21 Patrick Rairoux 22 Torsten Sachs 23 Marko Scholze 24 Martin Wirth 1
3 SATINV - Modélisation INVerse pour les mesures atmosphériques et SATellitaires
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
8 ICOS-ATC - ICOS-ATC
LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement [Gif-sur-Yvette] : DRF/LSCE
10 TROPO - LATMOS
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : The MEthane Remote sensing Lidar missioN (MERLIN) aims at demonstrating the spaceborne active measurement of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas, based on an Integrated Path Differential Absorption (IPDA) nadir-viewing LIght Detecting and Ranging (Lidar) instrument. MERLIN is a joint French and German space mission, with a launch currently scheduled for the timeframe 2021/22. The German Space Agency (DLR) is responsible for the payload, while the platform (MYRIADE Evolutions product line) is developed by the French Space Agency (CNES). The main scientific objective of MERLIN is the delivery of weighted atmospheric columns of methane dry-air mole fractions for all latitudes throughout the year with systematic errors small enough (<3.7 ppb) to significantly improve our knowledge of methane sources from global to regional scales, with emphasis on poorly accessible regions in the tropics and at high latitudes. This paper presents the MERLIN objectives, describes the methodology and the main characteristics of the payload and of the platform, and proposes a first assessment of the error budget and its translation into expected uncertainty reduction of methane surface emissions
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Gerhard Ehret, Philippe Bousquet, Clémence Pierangelo, Matthias Alpers, Bruno Millet, et al.. MERLIN: A French-German Space Lidar Mission Dedicated to Atmospheric Methane. Remote Sensing, MDPI, 2017, 9 (10), pp.1052. ⟨10.3390/rs9101052⟩. ⟨insu-01664230⟩

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