ESA calls for Biomass Mission Advisory Group

8 May 2013

Following ESA’s Earth Observation Programme Board’s selection of the Biomass mission as the seventh Earth Explorer, the Mission Advisory Group is being re-established. Scientists from the Earth science community are invited to apply for membership.

Applications can be made via the Mission Advisory Group Applications website.

Please note that the deadline for submission is Monday 3 June 2013 (noon CEST).

Earth Explorers are developed in close cooperation with the scientific community. Therefore, Mission Advisory Groups play an important role in the consolidation of the system concept and development of new satellite missions.

In this case, the group will be formed to cover the preliminary definition phase (Phase-B) of the mission.

The Biomass mission will answer one of the most fundamental questions in our understanding of the land component in the Earth system: what is the state of our forests and how are they changing?

To accomplish this, the mission has two main scientific objectives. Firstly, to determine the distribution of above-ground biomass in the world’s forests and, secondly, to measure annual changes in this stock throughout the duration of the mission.

The first objective will improve the accuracy of estimates of the sources and sinks of carbon attributed to changes in forest cover. By measuring changes in above-ground biomass, the mission also has the potential to measure the more subtle and, at the same time, more uncertain changes resulting from forest degradation and growth.

These objectives will be achieved by measuring biomass and forest height at a resolution of 200 m and forest disturbances at a resolution of 50 m.

Forging new technology, the mission is being developed as a fully polarimetric, interferometric P-band synthetic aperture radar carried on a single satellite.

For more information about the Mission Advisory Group application procedure, please visit the website noted above and which is also linked from the right-hand bar.

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