Case study


MicroCarb is a joint mission between UKSA and CNES which will measure sources and sinks of carbon, the principal greenhouse gas driving global warming.

Artist Impression of Microcarb

Artist Impression of Microcarb.

MicroCarb is the first European mission intended to characterise greenhouse gas fluxes on Earth’s surface and gauge how much carbon is being absorbed by oceans and forests, the main sinks on the planet.

Monitoring the data will allow us to anticipate how the ecosystems will react to global warming. The UK has a range of roles from assembling and testing the satellite, ground segment algorithms to leading UK scientists on the Mission Advisory Group.

Key facts:

  • Data from MicroCarb will help us to monitor international progress in meeting the Paris Agreement climate target of limiting global surface warming to well below 2ºC of pre-industrial temperatures
  • MicroCarb has a special city-scanning observing mode that will allow us, for the first time, to map CO2 emissions across cities which are a large contributor to global emissions.
  • The UK is involved with the Assembly, Integration and Testing of satellite, design and build of key parts, data collection, algorithm development and scientific mission preparation.
  • Due to launch in December 2022

Stakeholders: CNES, TAS-UK, RAL Space, NPL, GMV, University of Leicester, University of Edinburgh

Published 18 May 2021