Latest News

Airbus Wins $19M ESA Contract to Lead TRUTHS Mission Study

By | November 3, 2020

Artist rendition of the TRUTHS mission satellite. Photo: Airbus

Airbus on Tuesday revealed that the company will lead the European Space Agency (ESA) contract for the Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial and Helio Studies (TRUTHS) satellite mission, phase A /B1, which includes system feasibility studies and pre-developments. This mission is part of the larger ESA Earth Observation Earth Watch program, and the contract is worth approximately $18.7 million (16 million euros).

The TRUTHS study and pre-developments will include partners from the U.K. space industry including Teledyne e2v, National Physical Laboratory (NPL), RAL Space, University of Leicester, Thales Alenia Space, CGI IT, Telespazio, Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, as well as other companies and institutes in the Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, and Switzerland.

The TRUTHS satellite will measure the Sun’s radiation and the sunlight reflected off of Earth’s surface, which will then be used to improve climatological data. TRUTHS will serve to calibrate other satellite sensors, such as those carried on the Copernicus missions, through co-imaging operations. TRUTHS will carry a Cryogenic Solar Absolute Radiometer (CSAR) to provide a primary calibration standard.

Richard Franklin, managing director of Airbus Defence and Space in the U.K. said: “Validating data on Earth’s changing climate is at the heart of this exciting mission — which will have a profound impact on future studies. It will provide the gold standard of calibration for space based Earth Observation (EO) — a kind of ‘standards laboratory in space.’ For the first time the international scientific community will be able to cross reference their measurements and data enabling much more accurate forecasts and analysis, especially from the European Copernicus program.”