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Sener will design one of the main systems for ESA’s TRUTHS mission, which will improve precision of climate measurements from space


Project leader Airbus Defence and Space Ltd (UK) awarded Sener the design and prototyping of the Sun Polychromator (SPC), a key instrument for the TRUTHS mission payload, being a critical and complex element of the satellite’s innovative on-board calibration system.

TRUTHS is one of the most relevant initiatives of the decade for ESA, as it will calibrate other missions and will help fight climate change, improving measuring accuracy of Earth and Sun radiation.

The engineering and technology group Sener has been chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus UK to carry out the design and prototyping of one of the most critical payload elements for the success of the TRUTHS mission (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio-Studies). This mission is one of the most relevant initiatives of the decade for ESA, due to its benefits for other missions and its positive impact on the fight against climate change.

The mission satellite will incorporate an absolute cryogenic solar radiometer and a hyperspectral imaging spectrometer, as well as an innovative on-board calibration system. Specifically, Sener will design and prototype the Sun Polychromator (SPC), a critical and complex element of the abovementioned on-board calibration system.

In this way, TRUTHS will make continuous measurements of solar and Earth-reflected radiation to evaluate the relationship of energy input and output to the Earth. It will function as a “metrology lab in space” that will help establish a reference standard for climate measurements and detect changes in the Earth’s climate system, serving also as cross-calibration reference for other satellites and sensors.

The mission is expected to be launched in 2030, creating a space-based climate and calibration observatory that will reduce uncertainty in Earth observation data, establishing a new benchmark for detecting changes in the planet’s climate system. TRUTHS will generate greater reliability in the information used in climate action, providing trustful reference climate data, traceable to the SI (international system) of units.

José Ignacio Bueno, Bid Manager at Sener, states: “it is not possible to make effective decisions when the uncertainty in the data is high. This is especially true in the fight against climate change, as very detailed information and long-term records are needed to understand the signals that warn us of relevant changes. We are happy to contribute to the design of a system that will help ESA obtain and offer more precise data in the climate fight, as well as better measure the result of the actions carried out and their positive impact on society.”

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