Aerospace and Defense

Measuring Earth’s Carbon Dioxide Levels from Space

08 August 2017

Lockheed Martin is working with NASA to build a custom instrument to study the Earth’s carbon cycle and vegetation health.

The Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCARB) mission will use an advanced infrared spectrograph that will be placed on a commercial geosynchronous satellite in order to measure carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane in Earth’s atmosphere along with Solar Induced Fluorescence, a measure of vegetation health.

Lockheed Martin will build the instrument at its Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif., with the goal of launching the device in 2022.

“Lockheed Martin has the right skills to make GeoCARB a success, bringing together our deep expertise in infrared sensing and hosted payloads,” says Gary Kushner, instrument program manager at Lockheed Martin. “Through our collaboration with the University of Oklahoma, NASA and Colorado State University, we can deliver better information about our planet’s health to decision makers and scientists around the globe.”

The instrument will be launched as a hosted payload on an upcoming satellite and the launch will be a demonstration of a cost-capped mission with the ability to perform hosted geosynchronous payload missions at a fraction of the cost of a standalone mission, Lockheed Martin says.

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