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NPL’s Dr Paul Green joins MicroCarb Mission Advisory Group

MicroCarb is the first European mission intended to characterise greenhouse gas fluxes on the Earth’s surface

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) announces Dr Paul Green’s appointment to the Mission Advisory Group for climate mission, MicroCarb.  

MicroCarb is the first European mission intended to map greenhouse gas fluxes on Earth’s surface and gauge the terrestrial sources and sinks – including how much carbon is being absorbed by oceans and forests. Data from MicroCarb will allow us to understand how the Earth System is responding to global warming.  

The Mission Advisory Group, comprised primarily of scientists from the user community provide scientific advice, steering the mission developments to maximise utility and ensure the scientific integrity of the mission.  

The UK has a range of roles in the MicroCarb mission, a joint mission between the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and CNES in France. The UK’s role focuses on confidence in the accuracy of the data product: contributing the pre-launch performance test equipment and on-board calibration hardware together with product algorithms and their quality assessment. The UK is also partnering in the assembling and testing of the satellite and ground segment algorithms. 

The appointment of Dr Green to the Mission Advisory Group is to contribute metrology expertise into the product algorithm quality assessment activities. Grounded in expertise in instrument calibration and characterisation, atmospheric physics, and the application of metrological methods to Earth Observation missions, developed at NPL, the UK’s National Metrology Institute, high confidence in the mission data quality can be demonstrably evidenced to the user community.   

Dr Green and his team have also providing the MicroCarb pre-flight calibration facility, the NPL conceived STAR-cc-OGSE, which stands for Spectroscopically Tuneable Absolute Radiometric, calibration and characterisation, Optical Ground Support Equipment. The facility provides a single transportable state-of-the-art solution to full instrument calibration and characterisation, traceable to the SI.  

Of the appointment Dr Paul Green states “MicroCarb is a timely mission that will provide a unique GHG dataset in the near term to provide the evidence base for validation of international efforts to curb emissions and achieve Net Zero targets and understand the natural environment response to human activity. However, user confidence in the data is key, which we at NPL believe is best achieved through the robust application of metrological principles from sensor to product.” 

23 Nov 2021