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As space sciences and climate change are among “hot topics” and top priorities for TAU, the single most compelling argument for advancing this unique campaign is “a sustainable earth” and the Nanosatellite Center is focused on space missions related to environmental sciences, including:

Monitoring plastic pollution in the oceans: plastic pollution in the oceans is a huge environmental problem, and the only way of mapping the distribution and changes over time are with satellites. Nanosatellites provide a cheap option.


Monitoring forest fires in Canadian and other boreal forests. Due to climate change the number and area of forest fires in western Canada and other countries is increasing dramatically. We plan to use nanosatellites to monitor and track the locations of large forest fires from space.


Monitoring urban heat islands for more sustainable cities. By 2050 around 75% of the world’s populations will be living in cities. However, cities need to be planned and monitored to allow them to become sustainable. Nanosatellites provide a unique vantage point for monitoring the cities of the future.


Monitoring the arctic ice melting due to climate change. One of the most dramatic climate changes occurring today is the melting of the Arctic sea ice north of Canada, and the Greenland ice sheet to the east of Canada. Nanosatellites provide a unique vantage point for tracking the loss of sea ice along the northern Canadian border. Such losses are the “canaries in the coal-mine” for climate change.


Monitoring methane leaks from oil and gas pipelines. Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, and recently it has been shown that one of the main sources of methane is due to leaks from gas and oil pipelines in remote regions like Alaska, Canada and Siberia. A nanosatellite will be able to monitor and report on such leaks


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