Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Professor Huang is Contributing to a Newly Selected ESA Mission Study

Posted: November 15, 2017

Professor Huang is Contributing to a Newly Selected ESA Mission Study

Today, the European Space Agency (ESA) selected two concepts for further development, and to compete to be the ninth Earth Explorer Mission. U-M Climate & Space Associate Professor Xianglei Huang is a co-investigator for one of the selected concepts: The Far-infrared Outgoing Radiation Understanding and Monitoring (FORUM). FORUM will measure spectrally resolved radiances in the 15-100 micron range, a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum normally referred as “far-IR” (Far-infrared). On average, almost half of global outgoing longwave radiation to space originates from the far-IR area of the spectrum. There has been no direct satellite measurement of spectral radiance over the far-IR spectrum. But spectrally resolved measurements have been made to all of the rest portions of electromagnetic spectrum pertinent to earth radiation budget. The FORUM concept is designed to fill the last gap.

According to the ESA news release, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “…these two candidates will spend the next two years being studied thoroughly. In 2019, a User Consultation Meeting will be held, after which a decision will be taken by ESA’s Member States as to which of the two contenders will be implemented. We foresee Earth Explorer 9 being launched in 2025.”

More information about the ESA selections can be found at:


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