Feeds

ESA tests greenhouse gas-measuring lasers

Green beams light up the skies over the Canaries

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Residents of the Canaries could be forgiven for thinking they were under attack from an alien race over the last two weeks, as the islands played host to a European Space Agency test of a laser tracking system for greenhouse gases.

Infrared laser experiment for studying greenhouse gases

Infrared laser experiment for studying greenhouse gases. Credit: ESA

The agency wants to try to use shortwave infrared laser pulses fired between satellites to 'sense' the atmosphere, but the theory behind the plan had to be looked into here on Earth first.

Of course, the actual infrared beam is invisible to the naked eye, but the agency used (appropriately) a green guidance laser to record atmospheric turbulence alongside the infrared beams, which lit up the skies over the islands.

The experiment to test the concept of using "infrared differential absorption spectroscopy" was carried out by firing lasers from one facility on La Palma to another on Tenerife over the course of a fortnight.

"At the right wavelength, the atmospheric molecules affect the beam. This information can then be used to calculate concentrations of trace gases, and potentially wind," the agency explained. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.