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Airbus forms partnership to develop SCARBO

Airbus has formed a consortium with seven European organisations to lead the development of the Space CARBon Observatory (SCARBO) project.

Airbus has formed a consortium with seven European organisations to lead the development of the Space CARBon Observatory (SCARBO) project.

Funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 Programme, the project aims to facilitate improved measurement of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) from space.

The consortium will provide miniaturised payloads for smallsat constellations to be used in the SCARBO project, including a miniaturised static spectrometer concept on a constellation of small satellites fitted with aerosol sensors and high-end reference instruments.

Airbus Space Systems Earth Observation, Navigation and Science head Mathilde Royer-Germain said: "We are strongly committed to the world's effort to combat climate change and its impacts to our planet: with SCARBO we are proud to contribute to the United Nations' '17 Sustainable Development Goals' adopted at the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"Our long experience in environmental missions, and especially our strong involvement in the Copernicus programme, will be a great asset for SCARBO."

The consortium has already held its first user advisory board meeting at Airbus's site in Toulouse, France, to ensure the successful implementation of the requirements of the project.

It plans to conduct a dedicated airborne campaign to validate the overall measurement concept using instrument prototypes in 2020.

SCARBO is scheduled to be operational as a complementary system with the second generation of Copernicus satellites within a decade.

European Commission Copernicus Policy officer Hugo Zunker said: "The emerging policy needs for anthropogenic greenhouse gases monitoring from Space call for frequent observations, high accuracy and spatial resolution.

"To this end the Commission is currently considering to possibly expand its constellation of Copernicus satellites.

"With SCARBO, we could go beyond what Copernicus can do and complement the tremendous data provided by the Sentinels."