The research programme of trace tackles four scientific challenges 

Challenge 1 stems from the broad range of spatial scales across which ghg emissions are distributed. Scales go from local, at intense point sources like industrial sites, through more diffuse areas like urban sources, up to national and global scales. This is a major challenge for developing robust ghg quantification methods  to deliver the best results.

Challenge 2 is to ensure that all sources of error in sensor measurements, both satellites and in-situ low cost sensors, and models will be rigorously characterized, and that the methods developed to measure ghg emissions will be traceable to international standards, to contribute bankable data for measuring the effectiveness of emission reduction actions.

Challenge 3 is to derive kilometer-scale ghg emission maps from satellites. This requires pushing the limit of instrument parameters, developing advanced radiative transfer models (transforming satellite-measured radiances into concentrations of ghg) and atmospheric inversion models (transforming concentrations into ghg fluxes based upon data assimilation techniques).

Challenge 4 is to achieve good performance of available low-cost sensors for co2 and ch4 for measuring industrial sites and urban sources, a potential weakness of low-cost sensors being the risk of insufficient accuracy, including drifts and biases.