Author Topic: Contract signed to build Europe’s carbon dioxide monitoring mission  (Read 1325 times)

Offline jacqmans

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Contract signed to build Europe’s carbon dioxide monitoring mission

31 July 2020

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, 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 cities. The new space-based measurements will also allow globally comparable data.

The Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission, or CO2M for short, aims to close this gap. In turn, data gathered by CO2M will be used to help track and implement targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “We are thrilled to have the contract signed so that OHB can move forward developing the mission. Climate change is clearly something we are all very concerned about, and the CO2M mission is destined to be a game changer in monitoring emissions so that key information is available for policy-making.”

CEO of the OHB Group, Marco Fuchs, stressed, “The task of implementing the CO2M mission as prime contractor makes me very proud. The question of how the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will develop in the coming decades will also determine the fate of the global climate.”

Full article: http://www/


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Offline Bean Kenobi

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jacqmans, there are problems with the link to the full article :
- www/
- /.../ is included in the web address

New link :

« Last Edit: 07/31/2020 02:40 pm by Bean Kenobi »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Information on CO2M. Launch is by the end of 2025. CO2M Mission Requirements Document is attached.

CO2M: Copernicus Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Monitoring

This set of satellites will detect the spectral absorption signals of carbon dioxide in infrared sunlight reflected off Earth’s surface. From this information we will be able to retrieve concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with high-precision – to 0.7 ppm (parts per million). The high spatial and temporal resolution planned for this mission represents a step-change in what is currently available for measuring carbon dioxide from space. It will measure carbon dioxide at 2×2 km˛ and scan each point of the globe every few days to capture the plumes from individual power plants. The swath – the width of vision – will be more than 250 km per satellite. In addition, the satellites will be given additional instruments that detect nitrogen dioxides emitted from burning fossil fuels at high temperature, which will help locate carbon dioxide plumes produced by humans and distinguish them from carbon dioxide coming from natural sources. The satellites will also have sensors to detect clouds and aerosols to improve carbon dioxide measurement accuracy. Alongside these data, ESA will support a system that provides policy-relevant information based on satellite data and other the development of independent sources of information on carbon dioxide concentrations, including from in-situ networks of sensors.

ESA aims to launch CO2M by the end of 2025, and is expected to provide data from 2026 to support the second global stocktake of greenhouse gas emissions, to be concluded in 2028, by countries participating in the Paris Agreement. The mission is expected to be a potent tool enabling nation states to better understand their carbon footprint, verify national emissions reports using independent data, and to set more ambitious targets. The CO2M mission will also be a valuable source of information for climate modellers, to tune Global Coupled Climate models’ representation of the carbon cycle.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2020 10:38 pm by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline GWR64

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Thales Alenia Space to partner with OHB system to build Copernicus CO2M satellites

To respond to ESA and European Union high-priority requirements to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activity

Cannes, July 31, 2020. Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %), has signed  a €72 million first tranche contract with OHB System, prime contractor of the project, to develop the payload for the 2 satellites of the CO2M mission, as part of Europe’s Copernicus program. Copernicus is the core satellite Earth observation program of the European Commission and a cornerstone of the European Space Agency (ESA) activities in the field as well. It provides Earth observation data for environmental protection, climate monitoring, natural disaster assessment and other social tasks.
The goal of the CO2M mission is to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activity. These measurements will reduce current uncertainties in estimates of emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuel at national and regional scales. This will provide the EU with a unique and independent source of information to assess the effectiveness of policy measures, and to track their impact towards decarbonising Europe and meeting national emission reduction targets.
Thales Alenia Space will deliver to OHB the CO2M payload based on a modular architecture and design to be built around:
-    A combined CO2/NO2 (carbon dioxide/nitrogen dioxide) instrument based on a near-infrared and shortwave-infrared spectrometer provided by Thales Alenia Space in France
-    A Multi-Angle polarimeter (MAP) based on 4 identical cameras, contained in a dedicated optical unit, provided by Thales Alenia Space in UK

The CO2M payload will simultaneously deliver with required rigorous scientific accuracy: highly accurate quantitative measurement of CO2 and NO2 concentrations (using CO2 / NO2 instrument) , measurements of aerosols density (using MAP instrument) and cloud detection and mapping (using CLIM detection), thereby ensuring the maximum accuracy and error corrections of the measurements in CO2 concentration.
Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space declared:

    “The CO2M mission is unique and marks an important milestone for Europe in terms of leadership with regard to climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gases. Thales Alenia Space is enthusiastic to bring all its flight proven expertise on Earth Observation to serve the ambitious goal to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activity. This is in line with our Space For Life aspiration for a more sustainable life on Earth”.

CO2M will measure images of total column CO2 with the resolution, accuracy, time sampling and spatial coverage required to provide the key space component input of the Operational Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions Monitoring & Verification Support (MVS) Capacity.
The atmospheric measurements made by the combination of satellites and in-situ networks will provide Europe with unique operational capacity that will contribute to the global monitoring of fossil CO2 emissions, CO2M being a crucial element part of it. Fossil CO2 emissions[1], meaning CO2 emissions arising from anthropogenic activities are constituting an addition of exogenous carbon in the climate system with a huge impact on the climate change.

The involvement of Thales Alenia Space in the CO2M mission is in line with the strategy of Thales and Leonardo. Indeed, Thales has developed an ambitious strategy for a low carbon future through its own voluntary initiatives but also thanks to the high technologies developed for its clients. It includes a better understanding of climate phenomena, particularly with the development of dedicated space systems. Leonardo is also strongly committed to developing new-frontier space technologies for monitoring and protecting the environment. Sustainability is at the core of the Company’s new strategic plan “Be Tomorrow 2030”. Both Thales and Leonardo companies support the ten principles of the UN Global Compact.

Offline Yiosie

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Carbon dioxide monitoring satellite given the shakes [dated Nov. 10]

A new satellite destined to be Europe’s prime mission for monitoring and tracking carbon dioxide emissions from human activity is being put through its paces at ESA’s Test Centre in the Netherlands. With nations at COP26 pledging net-zero emissions by 2050, the pressure is on to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere – but the race is also on to support the monitoring that shows targets are being met. ESA, the European Commission, Eumetsat and industrial partners are therefore working extremely hard to get the Copernicus Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission ready for liftoff in 2025.


As part of the development, the satellite structural model is at ESA’s ESTEC testing facilities in the Netherlands – the largest satellite test facility in Europe, equipped to simulate every aspect of the space environment. The shakers are used specifically to simulate launch stresses.

Valerie Fernandez, ESA’s CO2M Project Manager, explains, “Everyone is working hard to keep the development of the mission running to a tight schedule. The current suite of tests is being carried out on the structural model of the satellite at ESTEC. It is now on a shaker, which tests the satellite's mechanical integrity to make sure that it is sufficiently rigid and will survive the vibrations of launch.

“These tests will allow us to consolidate the satellite design and move quickly towards the next steps in the hardware procurement. Although we have to work as efficiently as possible, the team is being very careful and thorough to ensure that CO2M will be a world class mission and something Europe can be extremely proud of.”
« Last Edit: 11/15/2021 10:36 am by Yiosie »


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