Dutch Tropomi space-innovation launched
The Dutch Tropomi measurement instrument was launched into orbit from the Russian Plesetsk launch-site today. This innovation makes it possible to obtain detailed air-quality measurements anywhere in the world from space, once a day. Tropomi is a Dutch solution to the global challenge of making industry, transport and energy production sustainable and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Central government has supported the development of this invention to the tune of almost €100 million over the last seven years.
Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs: "The Tropomi shows how we here in the Netherlands are using innovation and perseverance to push boundaries and come up with solutions to global challenges. This particular Dutch innovation will strengthen our position in the European space industry.”
Insights necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement
To ensure that the goals set out in the Paris Agreement can be achieved, the government is pursuing an active policy designed to green the economy. If successful, the Energy Agreement will result in an increase in sustainable energy use from the current 6% to 16% in 2023. It has been agreed with the energy-intensive industry that energy savings of up to 9 petajoules and a reduction in CO2 emissions would be brought about. Greater insight at a global level is necessary to make further steps possible.
With the above in mind, Tropomi will be used – until 2025 – to clearly assess air quality throughout the world, identify where greenhouse gases are being produced and what the sources of that contamination are. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) will use this information to produce air quality maps. Companies and researchers have worked on Tropomi together for seven years. The Netherlands Space Office (NSO) joined forces with the KNMI, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON). The Dutch branch of Airbus was the main contractor for the project.
As part of the Copernicus earth observation programme, the Tropomi measurement instrument has been installed in the European Sentinel-5P satellite. The European Space Agency (ESA) is responsible for the operational management of the development and launch of this satellite.
Space provides an insight into climate, food and water issues
Dutch innovations and products have been making a valuable contribution to the international space programme for years now. For example, Dutch industrial products such as solar panels are being used in the ISS space station. Here in the Netherlands, we also take full advantage of the data generated by the space industry. These data provide researchers and companies with insight into issues relating to climate, food and water. Satellites are furthermore invaluable for telecommunication, navigation and observation purposes.
Space-related investments are very rewarding for the Dutch economy
A study carried out by the Decisio and Dialogic research agencies has revealed that Dutch society benefits many times over from the investments made in the space industry, in the form of telecommunications services, navigation, precision agriculture, weather forecasts and the presence of the ESTEC research centre in Noordwijk. This branch of the ESA, which happens to be the largest one, employs 2,700 highly-qualified members of staff.