Air Monitoring

Korea to launch satellite to monitor climate change


Korea are set to launch a satellite into space that will monitor climate change over the Korean Peninsula, becoming the first geostationary satellite to be sent with air monitoring equipment.

It is expected that the new system will be ready and deployed in 2018, with the Environment Ministry and the National Institute of Environment Research saying in a statement: "We have recently begun to develop an earth environment satellite to monitor climate change and air pollution in Northeast Asia."

The US and Europe already observe air pollution and global warming via a low-earth orbit satellite, but this is the first time a geostationary satellite will be used to monitor environmental changes. The western equivalent floats around 700 kilometres above the earth's surface and its orbit crosses the Arctic and the Antarctic, allowing it to seamlessly monitor air pollution in a region and its movement as well as climate change patterns.

Conversely, the Korean geostationary satellite moves like the earth in an orientation standing of more than 36,000 kilometers from the earth, which allows the satellite to focus on a certain point on the earth.

The institute said, "The earth environment satellite will stand over the Korean Peninsula 36,000 to 37,000 kilometers above the earth, which will be the first in the world as a geostationary satellite for monitoring the environment."

The satellite will be equipped with air monitoring equipment such as an optical telescope, which will measure ultraviolet and visible light waves as well as tracking the occurrence and movement of the ozone. The telescope will also track sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde across 25 million kilometers from the peninsula.

Hong Yoo-deok, director of the climate and environment research department at the institute said: "If the earth environment satellite finds the exact origin and the path of pollutants from China, we can mitigate the damage to our forests and agriculture.

"We can demand damages from China based on our data."

Posted by Joseph Hutton

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