China: OHB System from Germany and the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, a unit of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, have signed a contract to jointly develop a satellite fleet to monitor greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is just a framework agreement for the so-called CarbonSat constellation. Officials still need more partners, including other European nations and the United States, to implement a network of multiple satellites, said Steffen Leuthold, a spokesperson for OHB System AG of Bremen, Germany.
“This MoU is to build up the joint working group which then has to determine who’s going to pay for it,” Leuthold added.
The CarbonSat constellation would measure carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere, gauging their contributions to rising global temperatures. The satellites could help implement a post-Kyoto Protocol designed to reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions across the globe, according to an OHB System statement.
Leuthold said at least six satellites would be necessary for daily high-resolution global coverage. OHB says other operating or proposed greenhouse gas missions either lack the resolution or wide coverage swath provided by CarbonSat.
OHB says the sharper resolution of the CarbonSat constellation will go a step beyond Japan’s GOSAT and NASA’s OCO by observing smaller-scale greenhouse gas sources such as individual cities, power and steel plants, volcanoes, pipelines, compressor stations, landfills, and oil and gas fields.
Source: Spaceflight Now