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May 4, 2016

Airbus Defence and Space signs contract to build Biomass – the European Space Agency’s forest mission

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, space travel, treaties

1st P-band radar in space will measure the amount of biomass and carbon locked in the world’s forests and how this changes over time — Biomass satellite will provide support to United Nations treaties, notably the Reduction of Emissions due to Deforestation and Forest Degradation

Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to build its next Earth Explorer mission, the Biomass satellite. Biomass is due to launch in 2021 and will measure forest biomass to assess terrestrial carbon stocks and fluxes for five years.

The spacecraft will carry the first space-borne P-band synthetic aperture radar to deliver exceptionally accurate maps of tropical, temperate and boreal forest biomass that are not obtainable by ground measurement techniques. The mission will collect frequent information on global forests to determine the distribution of above-ground biomass in these forests and measure annual changes. The 5-year mission will see at least eight growth cycles in the worlds’ forests.

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