top of page
Search

From Moonshot Marvels to Earthly Solutions: Space Tech Tackles Climate Change!

Instead of merely looking at faraway stars, space organizations such as NASA, ISRO, and ESA are leveraging their cosmic exploration experience to develop novel technologies that are great instruments in addressing one of Earth's most pressing issues: climate change.


Eye on the planet:

Beyond telescopes, space organizations are using satellites to monitor Earth's climate. Programs such as NASA's Landsat and the European Space Agency's Sentinel regularly monitor temperature, precipitation, and sea levels, providing a precise picture of our planet's changing climate. These key insights not only improve our understanding of the effects of climate change but also feed critical mitigation methods.


Space tech plays a crucial role in:

  • Combating Wildfires: Satellites identify wildfires early and follow their spread, allowing for faster action. (For example, NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System and ISRO's MISR sensor onboard the EOS-Aqua satellite.)

  • Disaster relief: Satellite imagery helps to assess damage and coordinate relief activities following natural disasters such as floods or storms. (For example, ESA's Copernicus program and ISRO's Disaster Management Support System)

  • Precision agriculture uses space technology to optimize agricultural yields and water consumption, reducing the impact of climate change on food security. (For example, JAXA's DAISHO project, ISRO's Kisan app, and VEDAS.)

  • Clean water solutions rely on space-based technologies to monitor water quality and efficiently manage water resources. (For example, NASA's WaterWatch project and ISRO's GAGANYA mission to examine water resources)


Disaster management and monitoring

SATCOM: ISRO's resilient satellite communication network (SATCOM) offers crucial communication infrastructure during natural catastrophes such as floods, cyclones, and earthquakes. This enables speedier and more effective response operations, reducing human suffering and property damage.

Remote Sensing: ISRO's Earth observation satellite network collects high-resolution pictures to monitor deforestation, forest fires, and land degradation. This data is extremely useful for early warning systems, disaster planning, and environmental conservation activities.

KGEO: The Korean Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (KGEO) constellation delivers real-time meteorological data and high-resolution images. This information is critical for tracking extreme weather occurrences like typhoons, floods, and droughts, allowing for early warnings and greater preparedness.

Disaster Monitoring System (DMS): This KARI-developed system uses satellite data and ground-based sensors to track a variety of environmental characteristics, including landslides, forest fires, and volcanic activity. This information enables authorities to take prompt action and mitigate any damage.


Precision Agriculture and Environmental Monitoring:

GEOS-KOMPSAT-2A: This Earth observation satellite collects precise information on land cover, soil moisture, and vegetation health. This information assists farmers in optimizing resource management, increasing crop yields, and implementing sustainable agricultural practices.

Forest Carbon Monitoring System (FCMS): This system uses satellite data and complex algorithms to track forest cover changes and estimate carbon sequestration rates. This information is critical for monitoring deforestation, addressing climate change, and encouraging sustainable forest management.

Kisan App: ISRO created this smartphone application to give farmers real-time weather predictions, soil moisture levels, crop health, and market pricing. This allows them to make more educated decisions about irrigation, fertilizer application, and insect management, resulting in increased agricultural yields and water savings.

VEDAS: The Village Resource Management System (VEDAS) uses satellite images and GIS data to analyze water resources in rural communities. This information aids in the development and implementation of sustainable water management techniques, enabling equal access to clean water for communities.

SEVIRI Instrument: The Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) aboard the Meteosat satellites, originally designed for weather forecasting, now offers useful data for agricultural monitoring. Farmers may utilize this data to optimize irrigation operations, monitor crop health, and enhance resource management, resulting in higher efficiency and a lower environmental impact.


Turning a Threat into a Resource: Capturing Greenhouse Gases

While carbon dioxide (CO2) poses a significant danger to Earth's climate, it may have unexpected advantages on other worlds, such as Mars. NASA-funded research has resulted in equipment that absorbs Martian CO2 and turns it into useful resources, proving the ability to transform a greenhouse gas into a profitable asset.

This technology, originally meant to collect oxygen for life support and rocket fuel on Mars, has found unexpected uses on Earth. One adaptation catches and reutilizes natural gas at oil wells, reducing wasted combustion and CO2 emissions. Another version allows brewers to catch CO2 released during the brewing process and use it for carbonation instead of purchasing extra CO2, thus decreasing their environmental impact. (“NASA Technology Helps in Fight Against Climate Change | NASA Spinoff,” n.d.)


Renewable Energy and Climate Research

Aeolus satellite: This pioneering mission tracks wind profiles throughout the world, giving significant data for improving weather forecasting models and increasing the efficiency of renewable energy sources such as wind turbines.

Solar Orbiter: This joint endeavor investigates the Sun's effect on Earth's climate. The collected data will increase our understanding of solar activity and its influence on space weather, which is vital for protecting key infrastructure and lowering the hazards associated with solar storms.


KOMPSAT-5: This satellite has sophisticated instrumentation for measuring greenhouse gas concentrations, aerosols, and air pollution. This data is critical for understanding climate change dynamics and devising effective mitigation solutions.

Developing high-efficiency solar cells: KARI-funded research is pushing breakthroughs in solar cell technology with the goal of improving efficiency and cost. This paves the path for further use of solar energy, lowering dependency on fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.

Reduce travel footprint

While air travel brings people closer together, it also has a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions. However, NASA is at the forefront of finding new ways to reduce aviation's carbon footprint and pave the path for a more sustainable future (DiCicco, n.d.)


Revolutionising Aeroplane Design:

Winglets: These upturned wingtips, invented by NASA engineer Richard Whitcomb, cut drag by 5%, saving airlines millions of dollars in fuel expenses and lowering pollution.

Supercritical Wings: This design, also invented by Whitcomb, enhances efficiency at both subsonic and transonic speeds, resulting in considerable fuel savings for the commercial aircraft sector.

Geared Turbofan Engines: NASA collaborated with Pratt & Whitney to produce engines with approximately 15% higher efficiency, resulting in significant savings in fuel consumption and pollution.

Optimising Flight Operations using Direct-To Software. This NASA-developed technology assists pilots in identifying and using shorter flight paths, resulting in fuel savings and reduced emissions on numerous flights.

All-Electric Flight: NASA's study on high-power batteries is paving the road for future electric airplanes, which might revolutionize sustainable air transport.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Solar Hydrogen Fuel: NASA-backed research explores using solar power to generate hydrogen fuel, offering a clean and reliable energy source for remote locations(DiCicco, n.d.).

The NASA-backed study is looking at the intriguing possibility of solar hydrogen fuel. This breakthrough technique converts solar electricity into hydrogen fuel, providing a clean and stable energy source for remote areas.

Versatile applications: Hydrogen fuel has several applications, including powering cars, producing energy, and heating buildings.

Solar hydrogen fuel, which harnesses the power of the sun, has the potential to transform energy availability in distant areas and contribute greatly to a cleaner, more sustainable future. As research and development continue, this technology has the potential to power our globe with clean energy, even in the most difficult settings.


GreenDrive Efficiency Optimisation

Alex Ackerman and Yossef Shiri invented the GreenDrive system, one example of such innovation. This clever technology uses data on vehicle type, location, and road conditions to advise drivers on the most fuel-efficient driving style. GreenDrive may save 15-25% on average gasoline by proposing ideal acceleration, braking, and constant speed maintenance, greatly cutting emissions(“Space technology helps mitigate climate change,” n.d.)


In conclusion, space technology has emerged as an effective instrument for protecting our planet's health. It enables us to monitor environmental changes, optimize resource management, and create long-term strategies to counteract climate change and its far-reaching implications. As we continue to explore the universe, let us not forget the significant influence that space exploration has on our own planet, encouraging a future in which innovation and environmental stewardship coexist. By utilizing space technology, we acquire a better knowledge of our planet's health and may create efficient ways to counteract climate change and its repercussions.


References 



67 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page