Canadian Forest Service Publications
The atmospheric imaging mission for northern regions: AIM-North. Nassar, R., McLinden, C., Sioris, C. E., McElroy, C. T., Mendonca, J., Tamminen, J., Boisvenue, C., ... & Cooney, R. (2019). Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 45(3-4), 423-442.
Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 40294
Availability: PDF (download)
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AIM-North is a proposed satellite mission that would provide observations of unprecedented frequency and density for monitoring northern greenhouse gases (GHGs), air quality (AQ) and vegetation. AIM-North would consist of two satellites in a highly elliptical orbit formation, observing over land from ∼40°N to 80°N multiple times per day. Each satellite would carry a near-infrared to shortwave infrared imaging spectrometer for CO2, CH4, and CO, and an ultraviolet-visible imaging spectrometer for air quality. Both instruments would measure solar-induced fluorescence from vegetation. A cloud imager would make near-real-time observations, which could inform the pointing of the other instruments to focus only on the clearest regions. Multiple geostationary (GEO) AQ and GHG satellites are planned for the 2020s, but they will lack coverage of northern regions like the Arctic. AIM-North would address this gap with quasi-geostationary observations of the North and overlap with GEO coverage to facilitate intercomparison and fusion of these datasets. The resulting data would improve our ability to forecast northern air quality and quantify fluxes of GHG and AQ species from forests, permafrost, biomass burning and anthropogenic activity, furthering our scientific understanding of these processes and supporting environmental policy.
Plain Language Summary
AIM-North is a proposed satellite mission that would provide observations of frequency and density for monitoring northern greenhouse gases (GHGs), air quality (AQ) and vegetation. This mission would consist of two satellites observing various plots of land multiple times per day. Each satellite would carry tools for imaging, including infared imaging and ultraviolet imaging. Multiple satellites are planned for the 2020s, but they will lack coverage of northern regions like the Arctic. AIM-North would address this gap with observations of the north and comparison to the datasets from the other satellites. This data would improve our ability to observe and forecast northern air quality and measure changes of green house gases and air quality, and potentially vegetation productivity changes. Data from this mission would also support decision making for Canada and its northern partners as an essential method of monitoring our planet.