A CO2 Watch from the Sky

In July of this year NASA sent a rebuilt Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) into orbit to better understand where CO2 is coming from and being absorbed on Earth.

Three spectrometers aboard OCO-2, measuring intensities of small wave length bands, will determine absorption levels of CO2 from the same location and time over a span of at least two years. From the data scientists will be able to monitor surface changes over the time frame.

OCO-2 is one satellite in a train line of six Earth observing satellites, transmitting data within 14 minutes of each other, allowing scientists to study and correlate data. Since the satellites cross the equator in the early afternoon it follow that the line is called the (A)fternoon Train.

Read more about OCO-2 and the A-train, in “Keeping an eye in the Sky” by Stephen J. Mraz in Machine Design, June 12, 2014 issue.  Visit machinedesign.com for the latest issue.