Thermal Vacuum Testing of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Instrument
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) instrument is scheduled for launch onboard an Orbital Sciences Corporation LEOStar-2 architecture spacecraft in December 2008. The instrument will collect data to identify CO2 sources and sinks and quantify their seasonal variability. OCO observations will permit the collection of spatially resolved, high resolution spectroscopic observations of CO2 and O2 absorption in reflected sunlight over both continents and oceans. OCO has three bore-sighted, high resolution, grating spectrometers which share a common telescope with similar optics and electronics. A 0.765 μm channel will be used for O2 observations, while the weak and strong CO2 bands will be observed with 1.61 μm and 2.06 μm channels, respectively. The OCO spacecraft circular polar orbit will be sun-synchronous with an inclination of 98.2 degrees, mean altitude of 705 km and 98.9 minute orbit period.