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What's New with OCO-3?

September 20, 2021

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 project would like to announce the release of new L2 data products at the GES-DISC, called v10. This v10 release uses software that is consistent with the OCO-2 data processing. Significant improvements over vEarly include geolocation (v10 has errors of less than 300m for nearly all the data) and a more consistent radiometric calibration across the mission.

The forward stream of data processing has been in v10 since the start of July 2021. These data rely on extrapolated calibration data and are processed for a limited volume of data (6% of the cloud free scenes).

A reprocessing campaign is underway, which focuses on the retrospective data. This uses calibration that relies on interpolation and all cloud-free data is processed, so it is a larger dataset. This campaign is ongoing, so some data has been delivered and additional data will be added in the months ahead, with a plan to complete the reprocessing of the mission record by the end of 2021. These products include XCO2 (dry-air mole fraction of carbon dioxide) and solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) estimates in lite files. These files contain data for one day, including bias correction and filtering for XCO2. The other products, including L2Std and L2Dia are also available.   

Links for files:

OCO-3 v10 Earthdata


Links for documentation (note that additional updates will be added in the near term)

OCO-3 v10 Documentation

Link for Snapshot Area Map and Target data (not all updated, but please save the link):


September 15, 2021

Paul Palmer, a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at JPL who collaborates with the OCO-3 Science Team, and Dr. Doug Finch, have created the first global map of anthropogenic sources of combustion.

They achieved this by training a machine learning model to identify plumes of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a proxy for incomplete combustion, by feeding it thousands of satellite images from the TROPOMI instrument on board the Sentinel 5P satellite (half containing a plume, half with no plume). The resulting model was successful in identifying plumes above 90% accuracy. Then they fed the model two years of global satellite observations from TROPOMI and found they were able to detect and tag combustion sources, and create a database of emission coordinates and times.

Generally, the located plumes on the maps show concentrations over areas that include cities, ports, industrial areas, and power stations, although night time flaring observations may not be possible with the afternoon satellite overpass of TROPOMI. Plumes from wildfires were identified and removed using thermal anomaly data collected by the VIIRS satellite on board the NOAA-20 weather satellite.

This map provides the potential to identify and monitor new sources.

The OCO-3 instrument on board the ISS uses their CO2 data with the NO2 plume data for analysis. This map could serve to guide the OCO-3 instrument to these sources when collecting Snapshot Area Maps (SAMS).

More results will be coming along. For more information and to view the map, please see here: Satellites reveal anthropogenic combustion hotspots across the globe

June 7, 2021

In a novel map, space-based observations from OCO-3 reveal the increased CO2 concentrations within the Los Angeles area, shaped by fossil fuel emissions and local winds. Please see: Urban-focused satellite CO2 observations from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3: A first look at the Los Angeles megacity and NASA Map Gives Most Accurate Space-Based View of LA’s Carbon Dioxide for more information.

May 4, 2021

In celebration of the Crew-2 launch broadcast and Earth Day, Annmarie Eldering (Deputy Project Scientist for OCO-2, Project Scientist for OCO-3), gave a brief interview on Friday, April 23, 2021. This Teams interview was hosted by The International Space Station Program Research Office. Please see video here:

April 28, 2021

NASA has announced results and selections from the latest round of OCO-2/3 Science Team ROSES proposals.  We want to welcome new and returning Science Team members (listed below). For more details, please see: NASA Science Mission Directorate Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences–2020 NNH20ZDA001N-OCOST A.51 Science Team for the OCO Missions.

  • David Baker (Colorado State University)
  • Abhishek Chatterjee (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
  • Sean Crowell (University of Oklahoma)
  • Dan Cusworth (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Brian Drouin (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Christian Frankenberg (Caltech)
  • Jonathan Franklin (Harvard University)
  • Gretchen Keppel-Aleks (University of Michigan)
  • Eric Hort (University of Michigan)
  • Susan Kulawik (Ames Research Center)
  • Junjie Liu (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Steve Massie (University of Colorado)
  • Scot Miller (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Chris O’Dell (Colorado State University)
  • Suniti Sanghavi (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

International team members:

  • Hartmut Boesch (University of Leicester)
  • Jia Chen (Technical University of Munich)
  • Noel Cressie (University of Wollongong)
  • Hannakaisa Lindqvist (Finnish Meteorological Institute)

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