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CarbonSat: The New Ultra-Precise Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Satellite Designed by Astrium


A new climate-monitoring satellite is being designed by Europe’s leading aerospace company Astrium. CarbonSat, the new greenhouse gases trailer, is being prepared for the European Space Agency (ESA). The project is expected to continue over a span of another 22 months. ESA announced its resolution to grant Astrium a contract to design and make the CarbonSat satellite in early April 2012.

The Astrium project will bring together a team of engineers from around the globe. Their task will be to consolidate the parts that will make up the CarbonSat satellite as the final product.

Globally, there are two most important greenhouse gases. These are methane and carbon dioxide. The climate satellite will monitor the global emission and concentration of these gases with unprecedented precision. This will avail exhaustive data to climate scientists who’ll then analyze it and make accurate reports on the global climate change.

CarbonSat will supply computed data with a spatial resolution better than 2x2km. The climate satellite will also make quite a significant input in the capacity to differentiate between natural greenhouse emissions and those emanating from human activity.

Natural carbon dioxide sources include volcanic eruptions and underground geothermal emissions. Human activities that contribute significantly include the cities’ industrial petroleum use as well as coal-fired power plants. Natural methane gas sources include large oil-processing complexes, landfill sites, and emissions from the oceans.

The quantified surveillance reports from the CarbonSat satellite project will also have a very significant role in the context of refining international climate models. The enhancement of global climate monitoring treaties signed in Kyoto and Copenhagen will also be made easier.

Astrium leads as a satellite systems specialist. It has extensive expertise and is highly experienced in environmental and climate satellite building. It is the prime contractor for 4 of the 6 ESA Earth Explorer missions. These are Swarm, EarthCARE, Cryosta-2, and Aeolus. It is also studying French space agency CNES’ MicroCarb mission.

[via spacedaily]

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