The European Space Agency selects Dutch satellites to map pollutant emissions around the world

About the episode

The European Space Agency has given the Netherlands the green light to build two new satellites to map global emissions.

We’re pretty good here at building tools to monitor climate from space. For example, the Dutch TROPOMI satellite instrument has been detecting the greenhouse gas methane around the world since 2017.

While Tropomi can image about 5% of emission sources, its successor TANGO will soon be able to do so for 75% of sources.

TANGO will also soon be able to enlarge the size of an apartment building in the city. In addition to methane, the mission is also looking at carbon dioxide, among other things.

This will make it possible to monitor emissions from a single factory or power station. This helps governments, scientists and companies around the world verify compliance with climate and environmental regulations. Because what is written on paper does not always correspond to practice.

It will take some time before the two satellites are launched, as they still need to be built and tested. They are expected to be able to start work in 2027.

Read more about the mission here: ESA chooses Dutch satellite system to monitor local emissions

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Megan Vasquez

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