The satellite, which will be launched in 2008 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration
Agency (JAXA), will enable Japanese scientists to study and measure greenhouse
gases in support of the Kyoto protocol made it mandatory for developed nations
to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions between 2008 and 2012.
The $10 million contract was awarded to ABB
Analytical Business Unit in Quebec in August 2005 by NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems,
the primary mission instrument supplier to Japans Greenhouse gases Observing
SATellite (GOSAT) program.
We are delighted that one of our core applications, greenhouse gas measurements,
will play an essential role in this system. In addition, I am very proud of
the project team which has designed one of the most efficient interferometers
in space history, all within a tight timeframe," says Marc-André
Soucy, Manager of ABB's Remote Sensing Industry.
The 15-person team included mechanical, electrical and software engineers (data
processing), physicians, opticians and technicians. The new instrument incorporates
some of the features of an ABB-built payload currently in operation on the satellite
ACE/SciSat-1 that was developed for the Canadian Space Agency.
The Michelson interferometer of the Fourier Transform Spectrometer is a system
that will collect and transmit global distribution in carbon dioxide and methane
density every 3 days cycle -- precise atmospheric measurements from 666
kilometers above the earth. The measurements will be used to chart and evaluate
the atmospheres carbon dioxide and methane levels. GOSATs launch
is expected to be the first mission to measure global CO2 and CH4 levels.
ABBs measuring process takes advantage of the spectral signature
of the molecules that carbon dioxide and other gases emit, making them easy
to identify and measure with infrared technology. The ABB spectrometer uses
infrared technology to read the signature and establish the density
of the molecules. By taking the readings at different orbital points
latitude, longitude and altitude profiles are created to establish the
concentration level of each gas in the atmosphere.
GOSAT is also important because the number of effective ground-based carbon
dioxide observation stations has thus far been limited, mainly because they
are poorly distributed throughout the world. GOSAT will be the first observatory
that will steadily and globally monitor greenhouse gases at 56,000 observation
points every 3 days. says Takashi Hamazaki, Project Manager, Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency (JAXA), in Japan. Scientists will be able to combine
global observation data sent from space with data already being gathered on
ABB Analytical Business Unit, located in Quebec City, designs, manufactures
and markets high-performance FT Mid-IR/Near-IR analytical system solutions and
spectrometers for Petroleum, Chemical, Life Science, and Remote Sensing/Aerospace
markets. The company also markets analyzers for hydrogen and inclusion measurement
in liquid aluminum.