Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

UK wins satellite contract to 'weigh' the biomass in Earth's forests

RATE THIS! +25
Posted in Science on 4th May, 2016 04:11 PM by AlexMuller

The Biomass mission's novel space radar will make 3D maps of forests, improving our understanding of how carbon is cycled through the Earth system. Its data will be important for climate research, and will create a baseline for treaties that seek to monitor the status of global forest resources.

 

The spacecraft is to be assembled by the UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space. It signed a contract with the European Space Agency (Esa) on Friday last week valued at €229m (£179m). The mission, which will launch on a Vega rocket in 2021, is part of Esa's Earth Explorer programme.
 
This operates a fleet of satellites that deploy innovative sensor technology to address big, outstanding environmental questions. The newness in Biomass is its P-band radar: a type of instrument that only recently has begun to be exploited in orbit.
 
By pulsing with a wavelength of 70cm, the radar can look through the leaf canopy of forests to the woody parts below. Using an approach akin to tomography, it will scan slices through the trees on repeat passes to build up a picture of how much woody material is present.
 
Global maps should be produced every six months. The plan is for Biomass to gather at least five years' worth of data.
 
"Effectively, we'll be weighing the forests," said Prof Shaun Quegan, who was one of the key proposers of the mission.
 
"We'll know their weight and their height at a scale of 200m, and we'll see how they are changing over time.
 
"This will give us unprecedented information on deforestation - on how much carbon is going into the atmosphere from this source. At the same time, we'll also see how much carbon is being taken up in regrowth," the Sheffield University scientist told BBC News.

Tags: spacebiologysatellitehardwareresearchforestclimate

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-09-21 08:16:42
    Google signs $1.1bn HTC smartphone deal..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-09-21 08:11:40
    US solar plant costs fall another 30 per cent in just one.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-09-21 08:04:25
    SpaceX will call global internet satellite network Starlink..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 19:05:15
    Google boosts Cloud Natural Language API with automatic.....read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 18:55:34
    Salesforce to launch $50 million artificial intelligence.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me