ABB optical technology launched aboard GOSAT-2 Japanese satellite

Designed for high accuracy measurement of carbon dioxide and methane concentrations globally, the new satellite is expected to double greenhouse gas readings per day over its GOSAT-1 predecessor.

Rendering of GOSAT-2 in Orbit. 
Image credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Rendering of GOSAT-2 in Orbit. Image credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 (GOSAT-2) was launched on October 29, 2018, from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan. The satellite carries an interferometer developed and manufactured by ABB in Quebec City, Canada. This same ABB technology is used on the ground for continuous emissions monitoring from industrial sources.

The GOSAT-2 orbits the earth 15 times a day at an altitude of 613 km. Over a 6-day period, the satellite undertakes a complete mapping of the globe, taking over 100,000 precise measurements of the total methane, water vapor, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gases (GHG) and vapor prevent the earth from effectively radiating heat into deep space thus resulting in an increase in global surface temperature.

“ABB is very proud of its involvement in the development of GOSAT-2. This second satellite relies on the heritage of GOSAT-1, a highly successful satellite in orbit since 2009. ABB has provided technologies for the Japanese space program for over 20 years, and contributed to several other high profile space misions like JPSS, NPP, Meteosat, IASI, SciSat, MetImage and more. All these contribute to a better understanding of our planet, and help overcome climate change challenges” said Marc-Andre Soucy, Space and Defense Systems Director at ABB Measurement & Analytics Business Unit.

For the GOSAT-2 mission, over 50 ABB experts were involved in the design and manufacturing of the payload. The contract was awarded to ABB by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, acting as the primary equipment supplier for this successor mission. GOSAT-2 was jointly developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Ministry of Environment.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.

ABB has a strong history in Canada, and the company continues to expand and localize its offerings for customers. With its Canadian corporate headquarters in Montreal, ABB operates close to 50 facilities and employs approximately 4,000 people across Canada.  


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