Microsatellite platforms will dramatically accelerate the technology development cycle of space systems, offer cost effective opportunities for missions, and enable novel observation approaches related to constellation flying. The MISO mission (Methane Isotopologues by Solar Occultation) focuses on studying the global methane isotopologue distribution, particularly in the upper troposphere – lower stratosphere region. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, whose emission control can provide quick benefit to the climate owing to its short atmospheric lifetime. The mission objectives are to provide further insight to the global methane budget and getting better constrains on its sources and sinks, to be used in assimilation models, and ultimately to improve greenhouse gas emission knowledge and services.
The MISO mission is also a platform for fast and cost effective in orbit demonstration of new sounding technologies and sounding concepts. The UK component of the bilateral, with RAL Space as the prime, will focus on the study of a middle infrared payload based on the laser heterodyne radiometer technology to provide a highly miniaturized spectro-radiometer offering high signal to noise ratio, high spectral selectivity for isotopologue discrimination, and high vertical resolution in the solar occultation limb sounding mode. The Australian part of the project will be dedicated to the Cubesat spacecraft study and potentially to an additional near infrared payload.
The outcome of the project will include the details of the mission definition, the engineering solutions for instruments and spacecraft, a prior performance analysis, the scientific analysis of expected data to be delivered, the mission programmatic, and a reliable cost estimate to enable the MISO mission to be flown as a joint UK/Australia endeavour. This project is funded by the UKSA Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation.
For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries