The Australian company ViPAC Engineers & Scientists Pty. Ltd. is leading a project to develop a space-based monitoring system to improve the measurement of greenhouse gases, funded by under the government's Australian Space Research Program (ASRP).
The project will tie the measurements to observations by satellites in order to provide global coverage and map the global distribution of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas species. In addition, it will develop modelling and analysis tools to interpret the data, thereby advancing scientific understanding of the carbon cycle and providing policy-relevant information about sources and sinks of greenhouse gases.
The ASRP will fund the design and construction of an airborne prototype instrument and the company is utilising the optical instrumentation expertise of the RSAA technical team and the advanced facilities at the research school to assist in its development.
The improved information on the distribution of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from the project will mean better monitoring and management of the roles of agriculture, forestation and deforestation as CO2 sources and sinks, more reliable weather forecasts and more sensitive detection of climate change. The project will also increase Australian capability in the design, build and test of advanced remote sensing instruments.
The project consortium members include the University of Wollongong, Rosebank Engineering Pty. Ltd., The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.