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Gabon on the radar

22 July 2015

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Mapping forest biomass from space poses a huge technical challenge, but ESA is building a new satellite to do just that. To make sure its novel measuring technique is accurate over a wide range of forest types, scientists headed over to Gabon in Central Africa.

The Biomass mission is the first to exploit the unique sensitivity of 'P-band synthetic aperture radar' to determine how much biomass and carbon is stored in forests. P-band is the lowest radar frequency available to Earth observation: 432-438 MHz.

Measurements of forest biomass and forest height will shed new light on the state of our forests and how they are changing. This will advance our understanding of forests in the global the carbon cycle.

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