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Instrument Overview

A rendering of the GeoCarb instrument showing the opening of the door assembly.
Strong Heritage

NASA pioneered the technology that GeoCarb will carry on an earlier mission—the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2). OCO-2 launched into Low Earth Orbit in  2014 and has since been measuring carbon dioxide from space, passing from pole to pole several times per day, as the Earth turns beneath it.

GeoCarb is optimized to measure carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and Solar Induced Fluorescence (SIF) from Geostationary Orbit.

Mechanical Layout

The GeoCarb instrument consists of the aperture assembly, telescope, spectrometer, and electronics boxes. It is a four-Infrared channel, single-slit imaging spectrograph optimized to deduce concentrations of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane, and Solar-Induced Fluorescence (SIF) from Geostationary Orbit. The fourth channel measures SIF, providing valuable information on aerosol and cloud contamination. The instrument is being built by Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center.


There are two grating spectrometers, four focal plane assemblies cooled to 125 degrees Kelvin and Cold Optical Bench cooled to ≈190 degrees Kelvin. Cooling by Northrup Grumman thermal-mechanical unit.

The 4-channel, slit-scan spectrometer will measure absorption spectra at wavelengths 1.61, 2.06, and 2.32 μm in sunlight reflected from the land to retrieve total atmosphere-column amounts of CO2, CH4, and carbon monoxide (CO) from GEOstationary orbit (GEO). 


Instrument Rendering

A digital rendering of the GeoCarb instrument with labels for various parts from an overhead view. Thermal strap. SW Grating. SW Littrow. SW Fold Mirror. Short Wave (SW) Fridge, SW Lens 2, SW DBS, 0.76 um Filter/Detector, 1.61 um Filter/Detector. Fold Mirror 2 (FM2). Bench 1, Slit, SW/LW DBS, SW Lens 1, LW Lens 1. LW Grating. LW Fold Mirror. LW Fold Mirror. LW Littrow. Long Wave (LW) Fridge, LW Lens 2, LW DBS, 2.06 um Filter/Detector, 2.32 um Filter/Detector.
A digital rendering of the GeoCarb instrument from a side view.
A digital rendering of the GeoCarb instrument.
A digital rendering of the GeoCarb instrument.
A digital rendering of the GeoCarb instrument with labels for various parts. Star Tracker Optical Heads. Entrance Baffle & Door Assy. South Radiator. S/C Nadir Panel. Nadir Panel Mounted Components. North Radiator. Cryocooler Thermomechanical Unit (TMU). 4X Jumper Heat Pipe.



Spectra Example

An example of the spectra example. Band 1. Band 2. Band 3. Band 4.