MEOS is an Earth Observation (EO) mission concept for monitoring of the major greenhouse gases and investigation of cloud structures. More specifically, the MEOS goal is to derive global maps of the concentrations of CO2, CH4 and N2O gases and aerosols with high temporal rates and geographical resolution. MPB’s team and their Canadian and international partners have developed the measurement strategy and a suite of advanced miniaturization technologies that can be used on a low-cost microsat platform.
The main instrumentation for MEOS is based on MPBC’s patented technology for miniature integrated IR spectrometers. The miniaturized spectrometers provide high performance that is comparable to large bench-top FT-IR systems but in a very compact and ruggedized footprint. The spectrometer employs a broadband IR slab-waveguide, a concave reflection grating, and a linear detector array in a compact monolithic structure.
The MEOS mission will employ full spectral coverage of the primary NIR atmospheric transmission bands at 1450-1750 nm and 1950-2400 nm. These spectral bands provide several harmonic absorption bands associated with CO2, CH4 and N2O. By monitoring each of the target greenhouse gases simultaneously using several different relevant absorption peaks, the effects of various interferences can be minimized and additional data averaging is feasible. This multi-spectral mapping considers not only the target gas absorption bands, but also the additional spectral features to provide information about aerosols, H2O vapor, and the surface Albedo. An additional high-resolution tunable microphotonic FP spectrometer will measure the O2 band near 760 nm to provide the total atmospheric content (surface pressure) to about +/- 0.1kPa accuracy.
In order to resolve aerosol and cloud structures, MEOS will innovatively combine the Limb vertical profile data of aerosols and with the Nadir mappings. The Limb data will, for the first time, provide a 16 pixel vertical spectral line imaging to provide 0.9 km vertical resolution of aerosols and ice/water clouds with near continuous global mapping of cloud and aerosol structures. The corresponding Nadir measurements will provide 20 km by 6 km ground pixels with a 100 km East-West NIR swath width and 100 km x 100 km boresight VIS imaging.