Miniaturized aerosol instruments
Here we refer to SPEXone, our five-angle spectropolarimeter instrument where through a dedicated telescope design the five viewing angles are imaged on a single detector. SPEXone is designed as a six-unit cubesat payload (see SPEX)
Miniaturized GHG instruments
Awareness of global warming has led to world-wide agreements to control man-made exhaust of GHGs. Scientists and policy makers therefore ask for global monitoring of GHG concentrations and their sources and sinks. This requires accurate measurements of GHGs at high spatial resolution to resolve localized sources such as power plants. Large operational missions and instruments like the Sentinels in the European Copernicus programme are designed for best accuracy and provide at best (near) daily global coverage and their ground resolution is limited to typically 5 to 10 km.
Over the past decade, universities and small companies have developed small and affordable satellites called CubeSat’s. Low launch costs allow for a different approach to risk, bringing the operational cost of these satellites down even further. This has led to revolution in space use. Private companies started to exploit constellations of tens or hundreds of small satellites commercially for communication or Earth observation. This revolution brings new opportunities for scientists worldwide including SRON. Together with partners we are working on the development, calibration and use of instruments suitable for CubeSats for space based monitoring of GHGs at high spatial resolution. Temporal resolution can be increased by a employing a constellation of CubeSats. At SRON, we combine our knowledge of the large institutional instruments with concept creation to foster new concepts. We closely work together with knowledge institutes and industry to realize a next generation of GHG satellites that can add value alongside the existing and planned operational Sentinel family of instruments.
Smart technology Together with partners SRON investigates the use of novel detection methods that allow a CubeSat size instrument to be employed in a constellation.
Industrialization Next to advise on user/science and instrument performance requirements SRON advises its industrial partners on emerging technologies for socio-scientific needs that may have future commercial application.