The OCO-3 Project science objectives (similar to OCO-2) are to collect the space-based measurements needed to quantify variations in the column averaged atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) dry air mole fraction, XCO2, with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to improve our understanding of surface CO2 sources and sinks (fluxes) on regional scales (≥1000km) and the processes controlling their variability over the seasonal cycle.

The OCO-3 mission onboard the Inernational Space Station (ISS) will contribute to a large number of additional scientific investigations that are related to the global carbon cycle, including exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and tropical ecosystems due to plant growth, respiration, and fires; the movement of fossil fuel plumes across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Learn more: https://ocov3.jpl.nasa.gov/science/

Disasters Applications

  • NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3), the agency's newest carbon dioxide-measuring mission to launch into space, has seen the light. From its perch on the International Space Station, OCO-3 captured its first glimpses of sunlight reflected by Earth's surface on June 25, 2019. Just weeks later, the OCO-3 team was able to make its first determinations of carbon dioxide and solar-induced fluorescence - the "glow" that plants emit from photosynthesis, a process that includes the capture of carbon from the atmosphere. (https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2894/first-data-from-nasas-oco-3-mission-c...)
  • The JPL-built and managed Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) instrument will monitor carbon dioxide distribution around the globe. Assembled with spare parts from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite, also built and managed by JPL, OCO-3 will provide insights into the role of carbon dioxide as it relates to growing urban areas and changes in fossil fuel combustion. The instrument will also measure the "glow" from growing plants (known as solar-induced fluorescence). (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6749)