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MethaneAIR: Airborne Imaging Spectrometer Level 2 Ungridded Data


MethaneAIR (“MAIR”) is a dual imaging spectrometer observing reflected sunlight at 1.65 µm (CH4 and CO2) and 1.27 µm. It measures absorption spectra with high spectral resolution, fine spatial resolution, wide swath, and high signal-to-noise ratio, enabling high-contrast, fine-grained images of CH4 column mean dry mole fraction. MAIR duplicates the spectroscopy of the upcoming MethaneSAT satellite (“MSAT”, launch Q1 2023). Development of the MAIR sensor and associated retrieval algorithms was supported by MethaneSAT LLC (a subsidiary of the Environmental Defense Fund).

In 2019, NSF supported science demonstration flights of MAIR with an EAGER grant, carried out in August 2021 on the NCAR Gulfstream V. Two engineering test flights in Nov. 2019 (TF01, TF02) were successful, but the flight series was terminated due to avionics failures on the GV. The series was rescheduled for March 2020, but the US shut down that month due to COVID-19. Flights rescheduled for June 2021 were pushed to late July/August of 2021 to accommodate another mission that had been displaced by unavailability of the C-130. After a short test flight (TF03), research flights RF04-RF09 targeted oil and gas infrastructure in Texas, New Mexico, and North Dakota. There were also 21 flight segments on RF04 and RF05 to compare emission rates of methane derived from MethaneAIR data to controlled releases carried out near Odesa, TX, by the Stanford group of Adam Brandt.

Engineering test flight TF10 was carried out at the end of the flight series. The spectrometer was
inverted to view the upward-looking port of the G-V, recording the spatial pattern of airglow in
the 1.27 µm band. 

This is a large dataset. Please only order the flights needed. See the readme for more information. 

Data access

Additional information

Data Quality final
  • 1.0 (2023-02-28)
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Related projects
Frequency continuous
Language English
GCMD Science Keywords Expand keywords
Related links

Temporal coverage

Begin datetime 2021-07-30 00:00:00
End datetime 2021-08-13 23:59:59

Spatial coverage

Map data from IBCSO, IBCAO, and Global Topography.

Maximum (North) Latitude: 48.52733, Minimum (South) Latitude: 31.4256
Minimum (West) Longitude: -112.0456, Maximum (East) Longitude: -91.28174

Primary point of contact information

EOL Data Support <>

Additional contact information


Miller, C., et al. 2023. MethaneAIR: Airborne Imaging Spectrometer Level 2 Ungridded Data. Version 1.0. UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory. Accessed 21 Jun 2024.

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