THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
Measurements > Atmosphere >
Trace gases (excluding ozone) >
CH4 Mole Fraction

Measurement Definition*: 3D field of amount of CH4 (Methane, expressed in moles) divided by the total amount of all constituents in dry air (also expressed in moles) - Resolution Units km, Measuring Units, Uncertainty Units %

Thematic Links
Instrument DescriptionMeasurement TechnologyTimeline
Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) Fourier Transform Spectrometer
Measure and understand the chemical processes that control the distribution of ozone in the Earth's atmosphere, especially at high altitudes.Limb-scanning IR spectrometer
Atmospheric Infra-red Sounder
+/-1.2 %
High spectral resolution measurement of temperature and humidity profiles in the atmosphere. Long-wave Earth surface emissivity. Cloud diagnostics. Trace gas profiles. Surface temperatures.n/a
Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer
+/-0.9 %
Measures tropospheric moisture and temperature, column integrated contents of ozone, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other minor gases which affect tropospheric chemistry. Also measures sea surface and land temperature.n/a
IR-Fourier spectrometer
Atmospheric temperature/humidity profiles, data on cloud parameters, water vapour & ozone column amounts, surface temperature.High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
Ozone Measuring Instrument
Mapping of ozone columns, key air quality components (NO2, SO2, BrO, OClO and aerosols), measurements of cloud pressure and coverage, global distribution and trends in UV-B radiation.High-resolution nadir-scanning SW spectrometer
Thermal And Near infrared Sensor for carbon Observation - Fourier Transform Spectrometer
+/-0.5 %
CO2 and CH4 distribution.High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
Thermal And Near infrared Sensor for carbon Observation - Fourier Transform Spectrometer-2
CO2, CH4, and CO distribution.High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
UVNS (Sentinel-5 precursor)
+/-2 %
Supporting atmospheric composition and air quality monitoring services.High-resolution nadir-scanning SW spectrometer
Integrated CO2 & NO2 Imaging spectrometer
Being developed
Pushbroom scanning spectrometer to provide relatively high spatial resolution CO2, CH4 and NO2 observations in support of estimating anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and CH4 in Copernicus. In addition, high quality NO2 and solar-induced fluorescence will be operationally delivered.High-resolution nadir-scanning SW spectrometer
Canadian Wildland Fire Monitoring Sensor
Being developed
Measurements are: Fire Radiative Power (FRP), hotspot locations, rate of spread, burned area mapping. Data products generated: 1) Fire maps, showing location, extent, and timing of forest fire events; 2) Fire characteristics, such as fire line intensity, rate of spread and fuel consumption; 3) Plume dynamics through smoke transport maps and plume heights; 4) Mass of carbon released into atmosphere.n/a
Scanning Spectrometer (GeoCarb)
Scanning Spectrometer (GeoCarb)
Being developed
+/-0.01 ppm
GeoCarb Mission employs a 4-channel slit imaging spectrometer that measures reflected IR sunlight at wavelengths 1.61µm and 2.06µm for XCO2, and 2.32µm for XCH4 and XCO. The fourth channel, 0.76µm, measures O2 column concentration and SIF, and it also provides valuable information on aerosol and cloud contamination. The North/South (N/S) extent of the scan is fixed at a 4.4° field of view, which maps to 25° latitude or 2800 km at the Sub-Satellite Point (SSP). There are 1016 N/S samples with 4.1 km spatial resolution, spaced 2.7 km apart on center. The measurements are acquired in an East to West (E/W), 0.3825s step, and 4.08s stare (integration) mode, with 3 km sampling EW steps and 5.4 km resolution at SSP.High-resolution nadir-scanning SW spectrometer
Total Anthropogenic and Natural emissions mapping SpectrOmeter-3
Being developed
 High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
UVNS (Sentinel-5)
Ultra-violet Visible Near-infrared Shortwave-infrared spectrometer
Being developed
+/-2 %
Supporting atmospheric composition and air quality monitoring services. Measurements of atmospheric trace gases, primarily O3, NO2, SO2, HCHO, CH4 and CO.High-resolution nadir-scanning SW spectrometer
Integrated Path Differential Absorption Light Detection and Ranging Instrument
+/-2 %
'Active' optical remote sensing instrument for atmospheric parameters or trace gases. Global information on atmospheric Methane concentration (Methane column density measurements).n/a
UV-VIS-NIR Sounder
Measurements of atmospheric trace gases, mainly O3, NO2, SO2, H2CO. The product list is not yet approved, the accuracy summary column lists the breakthrough user requirements.High-resolution nadir-scanning SW spectrometer
Advanced Fourier spectrometer
Atmospheric temperature/humidity profiles, data on cloud parameters, water vapour & ozone column amounts, surface temperature.High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
Trace Gas Spectrometer
Trace gas measurements.n/a
High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder
No longer operational
+/-1 %
Measures atmospheric temperature, concentrations of ozone, water vapour, methane, NOx, N2O, CFCs and other minor species, aerosol concentration, location of polar stratospheric clouds and cloud tops. Currently not collecting data on Aqua.Limb-scanning IR spectrometer
Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer
No longer operational
+/-0.7 %
3D profiles on a global scale of all infra-red active species from surface to lower stratosphere. Measures greenhouse gas concentrations, tropospheric ozone, acid rain precursors, gas exchange leading to stratospheric ozone depletion.High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
* Description adapted from WMO.
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