ESA: Next Earth Observation Satellite selected

The Biomass satellite
The Biomass satellite aims to map and monitor one of Earth’s most precious resources.
Credits: ESA

"biomass" will be ESA's next Earth Explorer satellite mission, as ESA has announced in a recent press release:

"ESA’s Earth Observation Programme Board has selected ‘Biomass’ to become the seventh Earth Explorer mission. The innovative satellite aims to map and monitor one of Earth’s most precious resources. Following the review of three candidate concepts at the Board’s meeting today, the Biomass mission concept is set to become the next in a series of satellites developed to further our understanding of Earth.

The satellite will be designed to provide, for the first time from space, P-band radar measurements that are optimised to determine the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the world’s forests with greater accuracy than ever before. This information is essential to our understanding of the role of forests in Earth’s carbon cycle and in climate change.

Reliable knowledge of tropical forest biomass also underpins the implementation of the UN Reducing Emissions from deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative – an international effort to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and land degradation in developing countries."