Fight against global warming goes miniature!December 12th, 2008 - 10:31 am ICT by IANS
Toronto, Dec 12 (IANS) A small space-borne pollution monitor launched by a Canadian university in April has started beaming back data to earth.A complete analysis of the data from this wonder device will take months.
Built by York University here and launched by the University of Toronto’s CanX-2 micro-satellite, the Argus microspectrometer is so precise that it can detect sources of industrial pollution to a resolution of one kilometre on earth.
Weighing just 230 grammes and small enough to fit into the palm of an adult, the device transmits data via infrared radiation emitted to space.
In a release, York University said Argus will enable scientists to determine local levels of carbon dioxide and other climate change gases by recording infrared spectra, which contain information about atmospheric composition.
“We’re very excited about this. It’s a Canadian first,” said York University professor and principal investigator Brendan Quine.
“In order to get it onto the micro-satellite, we had to miniaturize everything,” he said.
He said his accomplished this by reducing a spectrometer - which normally the size of a laser printer - to the size of a box of paperclips.
Quine said they seeking arrangement with other partners large-scale deployment of this small device to fight global warming.
“We need to fly a network of about one hundred Argus instruments in order to quantify pollution accurately and build detailed pollution maps.
“A global pollution-monitoring system is critical in order to quantify progress towards emission-reduction targets.”