High-resolution, ground-based atmospheric column measurements are now made using solar occultation with high-resolution Fourier transform spectrometers. Called "transportable," rather than portable, these spectrometers are used worldwide by the NASA-funded Total Carbon Column Observation Network (TCCON). These ground-based instruments also have an important role in aiding analysis of satellite remote sensing data. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) team expects to use TCCON atmospheric profiling results to aid analysis of the space-based carbon dioxide and methane remote sensing data. The OCO-2 satellite is scheduled for launch in 2014. PHOCS instruments will provide atmospheric column information to NASA from locations that are inaccessible to TCCON instruments. By narrowing our measurements to just one species, oxygen, we will be able to determine precise distributions of temperature and pressure fluctuations from the ground to the top of the atmosphere. These distributions are critical information needed for interpreting satellite data.
A secondary market for the proposed technology is for unobtrusive remote sensors that can detect hydrogen fluoride (HF) emissions from clandestine nuclear fuel processing.