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FORUM (Earth Explorer 9)

FORUM [Airbus Defence and Space]

ESAís Earth Observation Programme Board has selected FORUM (Far-infrared Outgoing Radiation Understanding and Monitoring) to become the ninth Earth Explorer mission. FORUM will be the first satellite to observe Earth in the far-infrared part of the spectrum, providing unique measurements of the Earthís outgoing energy to help improve understanding of the climate system.

Measurements from FORUMís spectrometer will enable scientists to compile a high resolution view of the Earthís greenhouse effect and the properties of ice clouds and water vapour in the atmosphere. Airbus is mission prime with OHB providing the instrument.

The main instrument on FORUM will be a Fourier Transform Spectrometer operating in the far-infrared. The Sunís incoming shortwave radiation is absorbed at the Earthís surface and re-emitted into space, through the atmosphere, at longer infrared wavelengths. FORUM will measure the signature of this outgoing radiation, from which a crucial understanding of water vapour, ice clouds, surface snow and ice, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas characteristics can be derived. The satellite will also be equipped with a thermal imager for ground sample validation.

The FORUM satellite will fly in a loose formation ahead of the MetOp-SG A1 satellite for synergistic observations using MetOp-SG A1ís infrared atmospheric sounding interferometer. Using MetOpís data at shorter infrared wavelengths will complement and further improve FORUMís own science.

The planned launch date for the FORUM mission is in 2027 on a Vega-C.

Nation: Europe
Type / Application: Earth Science
Operator: ESA
Contractors: Airbus Defence and Space (prime); OHB Systems (payload)
Equipment:
Configuration:
Propulsion: ?
Power: 3 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass: 883 kg
Orbit: 830 km SSO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
FORUM (Earth Explorer 9) - 2027 Ko ELV Vega-C

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