Teledyne e2v, part of the Teledyne Imaging Group, will supply infrared detectors for the UK-led climate change TRUTHS mission. The Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial and Helio Studies (TRUTHS) mission aims to establish an SI-traceable space-based climate and calibration observing system to improve confidence in climate-change forecasts, often referred to as a standards laboratory in space.
Announced in November 2020, the European Space Agency (ESA) has contracted Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage, UK, to carry out the pre-development work to define the TRUTHS system implementation concept as well as the preparation of critical technologies, ahead of its launch.
Teledyne e2v’s Space Imaging group located in Chelmsford, Essex, UK will design and manufacture the detector element covering the ultra-violet to short wave infrared spectrum. This first contract covers the pre-development phase to supply a breadboard solution covering a UV to SWIR spectral range, electronics and cabling. The programme will also further increase the TRL level of the detector.
The payload will detect the outgoing reflected radiation from the Earth’s surface that is then compared to the incoming solar radiation from the Sun, using the second TRUTHS payload sensor, the Cryogenic Solar Absolute Radiometer (CSAR). The unprecedented level of accuracy achieved will allow for the establishment of a climate science benchmark.
The benchmark measurements will improve scientists’ abilities to estimate radiative imbalance underlying climate change and in a shorter time than is currently possible. Reference datasets from TRUTHS would also serve to calibrate other satellite sensors, such as those carried on the Copernicus missions.
Christophe Tatard, Vice President Business and Product Development, Teledyne e2v said: “Following the recent announcements concerning Copernicus where Teledyne’s Space Imaging, UK, facility will be supplying technologies across the visible and infrared wavelengths, this is fantastic news. Evidence to highlight the contribution the UK is making to tackle climate change and another important application of Teledyne’s world class infrared material production and detector system design and manufacturing capabilities.”
Airbus, in the UK, will lead in the European Space Agency (ESA) contract for the TRUTHS A/B1 (System feasibility Studies and Pre-Developments) as part of ESA’s Earth Observation Earth Watch programme.