Mitsubishi Electric begins developing new satellite

Image courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric

Amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, Mitsubishi Electric has announced that it has begun development of a new Earth Observation satellite for Japan’s space agency JAXA.

The new satellite, known as the Global Observing SATellite for Greenhouse gases and Water cycle (GOSAT-GW), will be the third satellite in JAXA’s GOSAT series, with the first two already in orbit. GOSAT-GW will have two missions: greenhouse gases observation for Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and water-cycle observation for JAXA.

GOSAT-GW will consist of two main payloads:


(a) A new sensor for global observation of greenhouse gas concentration, named Total Anthropogenic and Natural emissions mapping SpectrOmeter-3 (TANSO-3), which will observe concentrations of greenhouse gases, over a wide area and with high precision. The global observation mode of TANSO-3 will cover large areas of Earth’s surface without discontinuity, thus enabling more observation points than with previous models. TANSO-3 also will have a detailed observation mode with a spatial resolution three times higher than that of its predecessor, GOSAT-2 (“Ibuki-2”), enabling greenhouse gases to be observed with higher accuracy.

(b) An Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 3 (AMSR3) for improved water cycle and meteorological monitoring, which will estimate geophysical quantity of earth’s water on land, sea-surface and in the atmosphere. AMSR3 will use an increased number of frequency bands compared to its predecessors for more accurate estimation of hydro-geophysical conditions, such as precipitation, water vapor, sea ice and sea-surface temperatures. Data obtained from observations will improve the accuracy of forecasting typhoons, torrential rains and other climatic conditions by meteorological organizations around the world. In addition, by providing detailed data for assessing the effects that climate change has on the water cycle, GOSAT-GW will contribute to efforts to measure the impact climate change has on everyday life and prepare necessary countermeasures.

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