HotPopRobot.com was invited to give a presentation at the International Space Development Conference 2016 in Puerto Rico. 18 – 22 May 2016 on creating climate change payloads for small satellites.
The key to understanding and taking action on climate change is data. 30 years of satellite-based climate data has provided groundwork for various UN treaties on climate change but more is needed to undertake climate emissions planning and monitoring at the national level. There is also a need to validate the environmental data being provided by the Government – and supplement it with data from other sources including from the civil society.
The demonstrative climate change payload by HotPopRobot was constructed using Commercial Off-the Shelf Technologies, namely nitrogen oxides, ozone, and methane sensors for measuring greenhouse gas emissions, Arduino for controlling sensors and collecting data, ultraviolet, luminosity and temperature sensors for gathering physical variables, and radio chips for communications. There was also a provision for taking a climate selfie of the location.
While NASA, EU, India, China and Japan have more than a dozen Earth science spacecraft/instruments in orbit studying all aspects of the Earth system, it is not enough to gather continuous national-level data. More countries need to become space faring and launch their own satellites as more real-time observations and action is needed to tackle climate change. This requires opening up of the space sector and lowering the entry point to working on space related projects.
Commercially available off-the shelf technologies (COTS) that can be used for gathering data on emissions and undertake continuous monitoring of climate are becoming important and bring down the costs of developing climate payloads.
Developing countries can deploy advance climate change payloads to develop their own climate emissions baseline data for agriculture, industries, and transportation, and for monitoring the impact of policies aimed at curbing emissions.