The European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK’s National Physical Laboratory will collaborate to create what they call a ‘climate and calibration laboratory in space’ to provide more precise climate modelling and projections.
The program will see the launch of the Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies (TRUTHS) spacecraft, which will carry a hyperspectral imager, an instrument which can measure incoming radiation from the Sun as well as radiation reflected back from the Earth in fine spectral detail.
“Space technologies and satellite applications are key green technologies that allow us to observe the Earth and record changes to our climate. This new mission will allow scientists to more accurately calculate the energy absorbed and reflected by the Earth over a much shorter timescale than is currently possible,” the UK’s Science Minister and interim Minister for Climate Change Chris Skidmore said.
The TRUTHS spacecraft will also provide observations that meet requirements for the key radiation balance essential climate variables and underpin many others, particularly those related to the Earth’s carbon cycle.
“Enabling society to have access to the trustable data and information it needs to make informed decisions on mitigation and adaptation resulting from climate change lies at the heart of NPL’s strategy, along with responsibilities for the nation’s time and other measurements,” Nigel Fox, Science lead for the Earth observation, Climate and Optical group of NPL and the missions principle investigator said.