Real-time remote detection and measurement for airborne imaging spectroscopy: a case study with methane
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
Localized anthropogenic sources of atmospheric CH<sub>4</sub> are highly uncertain and temporally variable. Airborne remote measurement is an effective method to detect and quantify these emissions. In a campaign context, the science yield can be dramatically increased by real-time retrievals that allow operators to coordinate multiple measurements of the most active areas. This can improve science outcomes for both single- and multiple-platform missions. We describe a case study of the
... CO<sub>2</sub> and Methane Experiment (COMEX) campaign in California during June and August/September 2014. COMEX was a multi-platform campaign to measure CH<sub>4</sub> plumes released from anthropogenic sources including oil and gas infrastructure. We discuss principles for real-time spectral signature detection and measurement, and report performance on the NASA Next Generation Airborne Visible Infrared Spectrometer (AVIRIS-NG). AVIRIS-NG successfully detected CH<sub>4</sub> plumes in real-time at Gb s<sup>−1</sup> data rates, characterizing fugitive releases in concert with other in situ and remote instruments. The teams used these real-time CH<sub>4</sub> detections to coordinate measurements across multiple platforms, including airborne in situ, airborne non-imaging remote sensing, and ground-based in situ instruments. To our knowledge this is the first reported use of real-time trace gas signature detection in an airborne science campaign, and presages many future applications.