|The structural thermal model (STM) of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite GOSAT.|
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning a summer 2008 launch for its new Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT). JAXA unveiled a prototype of GOSAT at its space center in Tsukuba on Monday.
GOSAT will monitor the distribution of the surface density of greenhouse gases on a near global basis, measuring about 56,000 points on the globe in a three-day scan cycle as it orbits the planet every 100 minutes. Currently, the number of ground-based carbon dioxide observation points has been limited, and they have been distributed unequally throughout the world.
GOSAT will measure the concentration of greenhouse gases by analyzing absorption levels in infrared energy radiated from the Earth. Many absorption lines of greenhouse gases are observed within the infrared spectrum region, and JAXA expects GOSAT to provide accurate data by measuring those absorption levels with precision.
The observational data from space will be combined with data obtained on land and with simulation models.
GOSAT was jointly developed by JAXA and Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. JAXA is responsible for the development of the satellite itself and an observing sensor, while the ministry is mainly in charge of the utilization of the data obtained.