Biomass monitoring mission for Carbon Assessment (BIOMASS)


For any questions or comments
on this mission, please contact :
Thuy Le Toan at CESBIO

© Copyright 2013 CESBIO, 
All rights reserved

In response to the ESA Second Call for Earth Explorer Opportunity Missions in March 2005, a P-band SAR payload was proposed to provide the spatial distribution and dynamics of forest biomass.

  • Climate change and its consequences constitute the most important environmental problem of the 21st century. The most critical element in understanding climate change is the quantification of the carbon cycle, of which a crucial component is the terrestrial biosphere.
  • However, the status, dynamics and evolution of the terrestrial biosphere are the least understood and the most uncertain elements in the carbon cycle, at all scales. Information on vegetation biomass is urgently needed to assess the present terrestrial carbon distribution. It is also essential, in combination with ecological models and other data sources, in order to identify carbon sources and sinks and their variation over time; to predict how these may change in the future; and to develop indicators of the status of the global climate system.

On May 23, 2006, ESA has announced the shortlist among 24 Earth Explorer mission proposals within its Living Planet Programme. The six retained missions cover a range of environmental issues with the aim of furthering our understanding of the Earth system and changing climate. The BIOMASS project to take global measurements of forest biomass was ranked at the first place.

On March 2, 2013, BIOMASS was among the three missions down selected for phase A studies.

Following the User Consultation meeting, Graz, Austria on 5&6 march 2013, "ESA's Earth Sciences Advisory Committee (ESAC) recommended the BIOMASS mission for further development and eventual deployment".

On 7 May 2013, The European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth Observation Programme Board has given the go-ahead or the BIOMASS mission.

ESA's press release


Principal Investigators and co-chairs of the "BIOMASS Mission Advisory Group" :

  • Thuy Le Toan(Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère, France )
  • Shaun Quegan (Centre for Terrestrial Carbon Dynamics, UK )




  plan du site sitemap webmaster webmaster crédit credit Copyright 2013 CESBIO, Tous droits réservé