ALTIUS, a New Challenge for SPACEBEL
ALTIUS (Atmospheric Limb Tracker for the Investigation of the Upcoming Stratosphere) is a microsatellite dedicated to the operational monitoring of stratospheric ozone profiles. This new Space mission will retrieve the composition and concentration of greenhouse gases in the stratosphere and measure their impact on the ozone layer.
To be launched in 2020, ALTIUS is a component of the European Earth Watch Programme and Belgium is the main contributor. The spacecraft is also meant to compensate for the imminent shortage of satellites capable of monitoring the distribution of components in our atmosphere whereas the international community is demanding more and more information about the ozone layer situation. From a technological point of view, ALTIUS will be quite groundbreaking thanks to its flexible viewing technique and its state-of-the-art atmospheric measurements concept.
For several months, SPACEBEL has been in charge of the on-board software study of the climate change research programme conducted by QinetiQ Space in preparation for the Altius mission implementation under contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). Moreover, SPACEBEL has recently been selected by ESA as the prime contractor for the development of the payload data ground segment (PDGS) – Phase B1, in cooperation with the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BISA), the initiator of this innovative mission, and the University of Saskatchewan, one of Canada’s top research universities.