The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) is designed to monitor the global distribution of carbon dioxide (CO2) from orbit. It is a joint project of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Ministry of Environment (MOE), and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES). JAXA is responsible for the satellite and instrument development, MOE is involved in the instrument development, and NIES is responsible for the satellite data retrieval. It is scheduled to be launched in 2008. As existing ground monitoring stations are limited and still unevenly distributed, the satellite observation has advantages of global and frequent observations. The objective of the mission is in response to COP3 (Kyoto Protocol): Observation of Green House Gases (GHGs) including CO2 with 1% relative accuracy in sub-continental spatial resolution and to identify the GHGs source and sink from the data obtained by GOSAT in conjunction with the data from the ground instruments, with simulated models. In order to detect the CO2 variation of boundary layers, the technique to measure the column density and the retrieval algorithm to remove cloud and aerosol contamination are investigated. The simultaneous observation of methane (CH4), which is the second largest contribution molecule, is studied. A Thermal And Near infrared Sensor for carbon Observation (TANSO) based on a Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) with high optical throughput and spectral resolution is currently under design for the GOSAT mission.
This paper presents an overview of the design of the TANSO interferometer as well as key reliability enhancement activities conducted during the design phase.