ABB interferometer to blast into space aboard the IBUKI (GOSAT) satellite



    Quebec City, Jan. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - ABB, the leader in power and
automation technologies, is pleased to see the final phase of the GOSAT
(Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite) project come to fruition. The principal
component of the Japanese satellite is a spatial interferometer developed by
ABB.
    Recently baptized "IBUKI" (meaning "breathe" in Japanese), the satellite
will be launched into space on Thursday evening, January 22, at 10:30 p.m. EST
(12:30 p.m. on January 23, Japan time). Being implemented as part of the Kyoto
Protocol, the GOSAT mission is an initiative of the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies,
and Japan's Ministry of the Environment. The project will use the world's
first satellite to observe greenhouse gases from space, particularly CO2 and
methane.
    The excitement at ABB in Quebec City in anticipation of the launch can
only be described as intense as the satellite will be carrying an
interferometer developed by an expert team of more than 15 specialists,
comprised primarily of mechanical, electrical and software engineers,
physicians, opticians and technicians. "For us, the launch of the IBUKI
satellite is the culmination of all our efforts," underlined Marc-André Soucy,
Remote Sensing Industry Manager with ABB Analytical's business unit in Quebec
City. "I am proud of the project team because it successfully designed one of
the top performing interferometers in the history of space flight. This
accomplishment strengthens our sense of pride for being part of ABB, a company
that is recognized as a pioneer within the high-tech sector in Quebec."

    The satellite launch can be viewed live on JAXA's Web site at
http://www.jaxa.jp/countdown/f15/live/index_e.html

    The $10 million contract was awarded to ABB Analytical in August 2005 by
NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems, the principal supplier of mission instruments to
the GOSAT program. ABB delivered the unit in June 2007.
    The company's interferometer is a system capable of transmitting accurate
daily atmospheric measurements of global carbon dioxide and methane gas
distribution from a distance of 666 kilometres above the Earth. These
measurements will be used to record and evaluate gas levels in the atmosphere.
The measurement processes use the "spectral signature" of molecules emitted by
CO2 and other gases, which makes them easy to identify and quantify thanks to
infrared technology allowing for the reading of the signature and the
establishment of molecular density. By taking readings at various points of
orbit, latitude, longitude and altitude, it is possible to generate profiles
defining the concentration level of each gas in the atmosphere.
    The GOSAT program is also important because the number of Earth stations
for observing carbon dioxide has been limited to date, most notably due to the
uneven distribution of the gas on the planet. The IBUKI satellite will be the
first observation station capable of consistently and thoroughly assuring the
monitoring of greenhouse gas daily at 56,000 observation points. As such,
scientists will be able to combine the global observation data sent from space
with the data already collected on Earth.
    The development of the interferometer onboard the IBUKI was inspired by
the ABB-built payload supplied to the Canadian Space Agency's ACE/SciSat-1
satellite. In orbit for more than five years now, the ACE/SciSat-1 offers
performance that has exceeded the expectations of the entire scientific
community.

    ABB Analytical business unit designs, manufactures and markets
high-performance analytical systems, as well as spectroradiometers used in
petroleum, chemical, life science and remote sensing/aerospace applications.
The business unit also markets analysis systems to detect the presence of
hydrogen and inclusions in molten aluminum. More information about the unit's
products is available online at www.abb.com/analytical.
    ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that
enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering
environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100
countries and employs approximately 120,000 people. In Canada, ABB
(www.abb.ca) employs some 2,500 people in about 40 locations from coast to
coast.




For further information:

For further information: Marc-André Soucy, Manager, Remote Sensing
Industry, Analytical Business Unit, ABB Inc., (418) 877-2944, ext. 343,
marc-andre.a.soucy@ca.abb.com; Jean-Pierre Simard, Marketing Manager,
Analytical Business Unit, ABB Inc., (418) 877-2944, ext. 356,
nancy.c.rochette@ca.abb.com; http://www.abb.com/analytical

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