York prof?s invention heading to space

Canadian Universities Forum (discussion group)


 
 
Subject: York prof?s invention heading to space
York prof?s invention heading to space to track global warming
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TORONTO, October 5, 2007 -- A York University professor has developed a unique device that rides aboard a satellite to accurately detect sources of industrial pollution on earth.

The Argus microspectrometer is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and can identify sources of pollution up to a range of one kilometer by measuring carbon dioxide in the earth?s atmosphere. It will fly aboard the University of Toronto?s CanX-2 microsatellite, scheduled for launch in December, 2007.

?The data we collect will help scientists create better models of pollution distribution. It will be of real value in the fight against global warming,? says project leader Ben Quine, a professor in York?s Department of Earth & Space Sciences & Engineering.

Micro-sizing this equipment has allowed Quine to create what he calls ?sustainable space instrumentation.?

?When people think of space instruments, there?s this image of clunky machines that cost millions upon millions of dollars and are destined to become massive pieces of space junk,? says Quine.

In contrast, Argus has a price tag of roughly $75,000.

?The low cost means you can fly numerous spectrometers to achieve regular global coverage relatively inexpensively,? he says.

Quine and his team tested Argus using York?s space instrumentation lab, which can simulate the vibrations of a rocket launch and the harsh atmospheric conditions of space.

?We?ve been putting the instrumentation through every test imaginable in order to ensure it?s ready to endure the rigours of space,? says Quine. ?We?re the only university in Canada with this equipment. It?s fantastic that we can complete this testing in-house.?

The satellite will also carry experiments from the University of Calgary and Carleton University.


[07-10-2007,02:49]
YORK_IS_GREAT!!



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