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MERLIN (Methane Remote Sensing Lidar Mission) is a joint CNES and DLR satellite mission dedicated to the measurements of the green house gas Methane (CH4).

It is planned to launch the satellite in the time frame of 2019 with at least 3 years of operation in space. Germany will contribute by providing the instrument payload, a Methane Integrated Path Differential Absorption (IPDA) LIDAR. France will be the mission prime and will contribute by the enhanced version of its space-proven satellite platform Myriade-Evolutions and will operate the satellite. Both countries will establish a joint data processing chain to provide the science community with the mission data.

It is baselined to be launched in 2020 from the Guiana Space Center in a multiple launch either by a Vega or a Soyuz-2-1b Fregat rocket, depending on which co-passengers become available. The launch has been delayed to 2025.

Nation: Germany, France
Type / Application: Earth sciences
Operator: DLR, CNES
Contractors: DLR, CNES; Airbus Defence and Space (bus)
Equipment: IPDA LIDAR
Configuration: AstroBus-300 (AstroBus-S) / Myriade-Evolutions
Propulsion: 4 × 1-N-Thrusters; Hydrazine blowdown system
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Lifetime: 3 years
Mass: ~400 kg
Orbit: SSO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
MERLIN - 2027 Ko Vega (baselined) or Soyuz-2-1b Fregat with ?


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