Measure greenhouse gases from space

Measure greenhouse gases from space

New technology developed by researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, working with the German Aerospace Center and the European Space Agency, is making it possible to track the extent of greenhouse gasses in the air.

This new technology, called hydrophilic bonding, now makes it possible to connect prisms and grating in satellites with each other so that they are suitable for space. Prisms deflect blue light the most intensively, while grating is best at bending red light. Analysing the light reflected from the earth by dissecting it into its component colors makes it possible to measure the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.

Until now, it’s been difficult to combine the two structures so that they would be suitable for space – normal adhesive absorbs light (thereby distorting the measurement result), is sensitive to radiation and ages too fast.

By pressing the surfaces together at elevated temperatures in a vacuum, rigid oxygen bonds form between the two parts. There is no intermediate layer, as in the case of adhesive, which would distort the measurements.

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