Australian Forests and Timber

Biomass mission to weigh world’s trees

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British industry is to lead the constructi­on of a satellite that will weigh the world’s trees. The Biomass mission’s novel space radar will make 3D maps of forests, improving our understand­ing of how carbon is cycled through the Earth system. Its data will be important for climate research, and will create a baseline for treaties that seek to monitor the status of global forest resources. The spacecraft is to be assembled by the UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space, and will launch on a Vega rocket in 2021 as part of Esa’s Earth Explorer program.

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