The Twin ANthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Observers (TANGO) mission is a pioneering satellite mission comprising two satellites, TANGO-Carbon and TANGO-Nitro. TANGO will monitor and quantify emissions of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) at the level of individual industrial facilities and power plants. SRON and KNMI have the scientific lead. Jochen Landgraf (SRON) is the lead scientist for TANGO-Carbon.


Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential in combating global warming. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) combined represent over 90% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, most of them with anthropogenic origin. Satellites provide a unique opportunity for global and independent monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions. TANGO is developed for ESA as a SCOUT mission proposal aimed to complement the large European Commission/ESA Copernicus global survey missions such as Sentinel-5(P) and CO2M. TANGO will zoom in on user-selected targets of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions with a spatial resolution of 300×300 m2 for CH4, CO2 and NO2.

With its agile pointing capability and by using a “stare mode” TANGO can on request of the end user improve the sensitivity up to a factor of two for selected targets or enhance the number of detectable targets compared to CO2M.

Access to this valuable emission information will enable scientists to zoom in on selected targets with high precision, supports policy makers on global stock take and supports industry with independent validation of emission reduction efforts. All these intents are in concordance with the ESA Earth Observation Strategy Challenge and its well-established user community.


The TANGO mission concept was created by a consortium composed of ISISpace, TNO, SRON and KNMI. The mission’s open data policy allows independent data verification and opportunities for a wide user community. Further iterations of the TANGO observatory, including additional atmospheric measurements, improved measurement precision and higher temporal resolution, can follow shortly due to the cost-effective small satellite development approach.