Pursuant to their bilateral framework cooperation arrangement signed on 31 January 2014, CNES and the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) held a Steering Committee meeting today at the Toulouse Space Centre (CST). On this occasion and for his first visit to CNES, the British Ambassador to France, Lord Edward Llewellyn, was welcomed by the agency’s President Jean-Yves Le Gall and invited to attend the meeting alongside Catherine Mealing-Jones, UKSA’s Director of Growth, Christopher McQuire, Earth Observation Policy Lead, and Jean Arlat, Science and Technology Advisor at the French Embassy in London.
Both parties underlined the dynamic collaboration they have engaged in the field of Earth observation, as illustrated by the IASI-NG instrument—designed to acquire temperature and humidity data, as well as measuring more than 25 other atmospheric components vitally important for climate monitoring—the SWOT new-generation altimetry satellite set to measure the height of oceans and surface waters, and the MicroCarb satellite.
With MicroCarb, CNES and UKSA are developing a satellite to measure atmospheric concentrations of carbon and map sources and sinks of this greenhouse gas on a global scale. In the wake of the successful COP21 conference, MicroCarb will be the first European mission to measure greenhouse gases being exchanged by Earth’s ecosystems and to gauge the capacity of oceans and forests around the globe to absorb carbon.
In this context, Jean-Yves Le Gall warmly congratulated UKSA on its six-month term as lead agency of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, which unfortunately saw a large number of activations in response to a series of hurricanes and earthquakes.
CNES’s President added: “I would like to warmly thank the British Ambassador to France, Lord Llewellyn, for his keen and sincere interest in our cooperation efforts. France and the United Kingdom share the same vision of space and the need to continue exploring it to gain new insights into our planet and its environment. I am sure our fruitful dialogue will be pursued at the next France-UK Summit early next year.”
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