Aerosol instrument SPEXone installed on the NASA climate satellite

(ORDO NEWS) — Over the past few weeks, a team of engineers from SRON, Airbus Netherlands and NASA have been working on installing the Dutch aerosol instrument SPEXone on NASA’s PACE satellite.

PACE will measure oceans and aerosols to study the impact of particulate matter on climate. Its launch is scheduled for 2024. On June 23, the last screw was tightened.

SPEXone, together with the HARP2 and OCI instruments, will provide the spacecraft with a clear view of the Earth to measure the color of the oceans and map the properties of aerosols.

The Dutch instrument SPEXone, developed by SRON and Airbus Netherlands, is responsible for aerosol measurements together with HARP2 and is the first instrument integrated into the satellite.

Aerosols are small particles of dust in the air such as soot, ash and desert dust. They have a major impact on air pollution and climate change, but their exact role is not well understood.

That is why global warming scenarios up to 2100 differ by about 3°C. Most aerosols reflect light and have a cooling effect on the Earth, but they can also have a warming effect through absorption.

SPEXone will map aerosol properties such as size, shape, composition, and absorbance/reflectivity. It will also help the OCI instrument measure the color of the oceans and thus track the abundance of plankton.

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