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COP28: UK climate satellite contracts
This announcement follows the recent news in the Autumn Statement of an additional 47 million pounds to boost activity and innovation in the Earth observation sector, and comes ahead of the UK re-joining the EU Copernicus programme in January 2024.
COP28: UK climate satellite contracts
by Sophie Jenkins
London, UK (SPX) Dec 06, 2023

The UK Space Agency, via its participation in the European Space Agency (ESA), has sanctioned significant contracts to two major aerospace entities - Airbus UK and Teledyne e2v. Airbus UK has secured nearly 95 million pounds, while Teledyne e2v has been granted 9 million pounds for their roles in the pivotal TRUTHS mission.

Airbus UK's substantial funding is earmarked for the meticulous design and development of the satellite. Concurrently, Teledyne e2v is tasked with developing a sophisticated sensor, the Hyperspectral Imaging Spectrometer Detection System. This high-tech instrument is designed to enhance the precision of Earth radiation budget studies, offering invaluable insights into climate modeling, land use changes, the carbon cycle, and environmental pollution monitoring.

The TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies) mission is at the forefront of measuring solar energy influx and Earth's reflective light. Such precise data collection is crucial for an in-depth understanding of Earth's climate dynamics and formulating effective mitigation strategies.

Andrew Griffith, the Science, Research and Innovation Minister, emphasized the mission's global significance. He highlighted the UK's role in driving technological growth within the space sector, aligning with its vision of becoming a science and technology superpower.

Slated for a 2030 launch, the TRUTHS mission aims to establish a 'climate and calibration observatory' in space. This initiative will minimize uncertainties in Earth observation data, setting a new standard in climate change detection.

The TRUTHS satellite, a brainchild of the UK's National Physical Laboratory and initiated by the UK Space Agency, is being developed under the aegis of ESA. Airbus UK spearheads the construction, collaborating with partners from various European nations including Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Romania, and the Czech Republic.

Dr. Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, present at COP28, celebrated this development as a significant milestone for the TRUTHS mission and a boon for Earth observation expertise.

Jean Marc Nasr from Airbus and Antonino Spatola from Teledyne e2v also expressed their commitment to the mission, underlining its potential in providing high-precision data crucial for climate analysis and forecasting.

The mission aligns with the broader Earth observation efforts, such as the Copernicus Sentinel missions, enhancing the calibration and accuracy of satellite networks. This synergy is essential in facilitating decisive climate action.

In conclusion, the recent investments and collaborations mark a major stride in Earth observation technology, reaffirming the UK's commitment to global climate monitoring and action, and setting the stage for its return to the EU Copernicus programme in 2024.

Related Links
UK Space Agency
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application

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