National Physical Laboratory

NPL presents TRUTHS at Google event

The Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) was invited to pitch its proposed TRUTHS mission as a technology 'moonshot' at Google's inaugural UK Solve for X event. The presentation given by Jane Burston, Head of the Centre for Carbon Measurement, is available to watch here

TRUTHS satellite concept
Figure 1: TRUTHS satellite concept

Solve for X is Google's platform to bring individuals and organisations together to discuss and advance 'moonshot' projects. Moonshots are breakthrough technologies which enable radical solutions to global problems, aiming not for incremental gains but for huge leaps forward.

With the challenges posed by climate change, there's a pressing need for accurate and detailed satellite data in order to improve our understanding of how the Earth's climate is changing. The majority of current satellite measurements are not accurate enough to distinguish between the predictions of environmental/climate models. Such uncertainties lead to huge variations in forecast temperature rises over long periods of time.

The Centre for Carbon Measurement at NPL is hoping to solve the problem with its proposed TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio-Studies) mission.

The launch of the TRUTHS calibration satellite would provide traceable measurements of unprecedented accuracy, allowing trends to be identified over the natural background variation in potentially a third of the time currently required. This would be achieved through both its own measurements and by upgrading the performance of other satellite sensors through in-flight reference calibration. Climate models could then be constrained and tested, producing decadal predictions which policy makers can act on with confidence.

It was announced at the end of last year that £1.25M is to be invested in the TRUTHS mission through a new grant from the UK Space Agency, together with investment from NPL and Airbus Defence and Space

Find out more about NPL's TRUTHS mission

Find out more about the Centre for Carbon Measurement at NPL

For further details, contact Nigel Fox

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Last Updated: 1 Jul 2015
Created: 12 Feb 2015


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