A research breakthrough by engineers at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) may lead to more accurate global weather forecasts and a better understanding of climate change.
The engineers have developed a high performance electronic device, a dual polarized Frequency Selective Surface filter, that can be used in future European space missions. The devices, which are just 30mm in diameter and 1/100mm thick, will be installed in instruments being developed for European Space Agency (ESA) meteorological satellites, used to detect thermal emissions in the atmosphere.
By measuring temperature, humidity profiles, and gas composition, these filters compile a range of new data such as ozone depletion and the size of water particles within clouds, which can be used to help forecast weather and pollution more accurately. However with the new technology only scheduled to be fitted into satellites launching between 2018 and 2020, we may well have a few more years of dodgy forecasts to put up with.