Airbus UK has been awarded nearly £95 million through the UK Space Agency’s membership of the European Space Agency (ESA), to deliver the next phase of the TRUTHS mission. The funding to Airbus will go towards satellite design and development
TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial and Helio Studies) will collect the most accurate measurements of energy coming into the earth from the sun, and light reflected off earth’s surface. This will significantly improve understanding of changes in the earth’s climate and inform global action to mitigate them.
Airbus in Portsmouth is a recognised world leader in radar design and manufacture having built the instrument for the NovaSAR Earth observation satellite launched in 2018. Radar satellites have a unique capability to capture imagery day or night and through clouds, enabling areas of interest to be closely monitored.
Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, said:
“This contract takes us one step closer to building a mission that will enable scientists and climatologists to cross reference their measurements and data enabling much more accurate forecasts and analysis in a shorter time. TRUTHS will provide the gold standard of calibration for space-based Earth observation – a kind of ‘standards laboratory in space”.
Conceived by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory and initiated by the UK Space Agency, TRUTHS is being developed by ESA. The satellite will be built by the UK space industry, led by Airbus UK, along with partners across Europe, including Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Romania and Czech Republic, which have also provided funding for the mission.