Image: Field testing NASA's new carbon-dioxide measuring instrument
After years of work, a team of NASA scientists and engineers is poised to realize a lifetime goal: building an instrument powerful and accurate enough to gather around-the-clock global atmospheric carbon-dioxide (CO2) measurements from space.
The instrument, called the CO2 Sounder Lidar, is a strong contender for a potential next-generation carbon-monitoring mission, the Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days and Seasons, or ASCENDS. Engineers and scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, believe they can make the case for the technology—especially now that they've analyzed data gathered during the instrument's most recent aircraft campaign over California and Nevada earlier this year.
Developers of the CO2 Sounder Lidar snapped this photo during the field campaign.