PARIS (ESA PR) — With the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere approaching levels that humans may have never before experienced, the need to monitor sources of emissions is more urgent than ever – hence the Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission being one of Europe’s new high-priority satellite missions.
Taking the mission a significant step forward, ESA and OHB System AG have, today, signed a contract to build the first two satellites that make up the mission.
With a contract secured worth €445 million [$525 million], OHB will lead the industrial consortium to start building the two satellites.
As the main contractor, OHB is responsible overall, and is also developing the satellite platforms. As the main sub-contractor, Thales Alenia Space will supply the instruments: the near-infrared and shortwave-infrared spectrometer that will measure emissions of carbon dioxide.
Importantly, the mission will be the first to measure how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere specifically through human activity.
Although measurements on the ground have made it possible to track general changes in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, it is not possible to make reliable statements about anthropogenic emissions from individual countries or even individual regions and ...