ABB Helps to Monitor and Understand Planet Earth

By Keith Cowing
October 22, 2013
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ABB Helps to Monitor and Understand Planet Earth
Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment
British Aerospace

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has reached an important milestone with its Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) mission on-board of the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) SCISAT satellite.
Successfully launched on August 12, 2003 by NASA, the satellite is far out-performing its original mandate, and provides excellent data related not only to ozone depletion, but also to climate change and air quality.

SCISAT observations are helping a team of Canadian and international scientists better understand the effects of atmospheric chemistry, clouds and small particles (such as aerosols) on Earth’s climate. After ten years in space, ABB’s instrument on-board the Canadian satellite is providing the most accurate measurements to date of chemicals that affect ozone.

On October 22 at the University of Toronto, scientists, government representatives and industry partners will participate in a media event to celebrate a decade of success for Canada’s ACE SCISAT satellite mission. The tenth anniversary of the first science data observations from SCISAT will also be marked by a scientific workshop at York University in Toronto from October 23-25, 2013.

“The original objective of ACE was to better understand the atmospheric chemistry mechanisms involved in ozone layer depletion. But its function has evolved and the additional observations allow us to increase our knowledge of our atmosphere globally and its effects on our day-to-day life. It has detected chemicals and gases in the atmosphere never previously identified from space. Originally planned for a two-year mission, the satellite lifetime has been extended over five times, thanks to the very robust design of this complex optical instrument,” said Marc-Andre Soucy, Remote Sensing Industry Director at ABB.

Furthermore, SCISAT data make an important contribution to international environmental policy aimed at protecting the ozone layer, such as the Montreal Protocol that bans certain CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) with the goal to protect the environment, health and well-being of humanity.

ABB was the prime contractor for the main payload of the satellite, a high-resolution spectrometer (ACE-FTS), built under a 20M$ contract from the Canadian Space Agency. The instrument realization involved significant contributions from ABB industrial partners and the scientific team, in particular from University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and Laval University.

The ABB Analytical Product Measurement Unit facility located in Quebec City, designs, manufactures and markets high-performance spectrometers, is an optical systems integrator and a leader in the space and defense markets. The ABB Group of companies ( operates in some 100 countries and employs approximately 145,000 people. In Canada, ABB employs more than 5,000 people from coast to coast.

For further information, please contact:
ABB inc.
Carolina Gallo, Director of Communications, CANADA
Tel. : +1 514 687 4779
[email protected]

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