Press Release

OSIRIS Provides Unprecedented Ozone Measurement

By SpaceRef Editor
February 24, 2004
Filed under ,

Today the Canadian Space Agency is
celebrating the third anniversary of the launch and activation of OSIRIS
onboard the Swedish satellite Odin. OSIRIS is a Canadian instrument that
continues to capture precise data on ozone depletion. The scientific
mission, with partners Sweden, Finland and France, is completing its third
year and the instrument and satellite are continuing to perform very well.

"For the first time ever, OSIRIS has enabled scientists to precisely define
atmospheric structures", says Professor Edward Llewellyn of the University
of Saskatchewan, who leads the scientific mission. "The instrument has
resulted in unprecedented innovations in atmospheric tomography, producing
the equivalent of a CAT scan of the atmosphere. OSIRIS has shown scientists
that the atmosphere is structured in ways that had not been previously
identified."

OSIRIS, the Canadian instrument onboard Odin, allows scientists to produce
various maps of such things as concentrations of aerosols and nitrogen
dioxide, which are major sources of atmospheric pollution. It can also
provide daily, monthly and annual height profile maps of ozone for a given
region.

Data gathered by OSIRIS in 2002 seemed to indicate a lessening in ozone
depletion. However, the Antarctic ozone hole was bigger than ever in 2003
and ozone is regenerating at a much slower rate than normal. The Canadian
instrument is thus playing a dominant role internationally in ozone studies.
Canadian expertise gained and the new methods developed through the use of
OSIRIS are valuable since they could be applied to study the atmospheres of
Mars and other planets in our Solar System.

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For more information on OSIRIS, please consult the following web page:
<http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/csa_sectors/space_science/astronomy/odin.asp

SpaceRef staff editor.