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

Gerhard Ehret 1 Philippe Bousquet 2 Clémence Pierangelo 3 Matthias Alpers 4 Bruno Millet 3 James Abshire 5 Heinrich Bovensmann 6 John Burrows 6 Frédéric Chevallier 2 Philippe Ciais 2 Cyril Crevoisier 7 Andreas Fix 1 Pierre Flamant 7, 8 Christian Frankenberg 9 Fabien Gibert 7 Birgit Heim 10 Martin Heimann 11, 12 Sander Houweling 13, 14, 15 Hans Hubberten 10 Patrick Jöckel 1 Kathy S. Law 8 Alexander Löw 16 Julia Marshall 17 Anna Agusti-Panareda 18 Sébastien Payan 8 Catherine Prigent 19 Patrick Rairoux 20 Torsten Sachs 21 Marko Scholze 22 Martin Wirth 1
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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