NASA has awarded the University of Oklahoma in Norman a potential $161 million contract to develop a geostationary instrument that will work to measure vegetation health and carbon-related greenhouse gases from space.
The agency said Friday it selected the university’s proposed Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory out of 15 submissions received for the agency’s second Earth Venture Mission opportunity that seeks to support small orbital research through the Earth System Science Pathfinder program.
GeoCarb will work to track vegetation stress across the Americas and study the exchange processes and natural sources that affect methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The instrument will fly aboard a commercial communications satellite as a payload to gather data from a geosynchronous Earth orbit.
Work under the cost-reimbursement contract is scheduled to begin in July and run through June 20, 2026.
NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia oversees the ESSP initiative for the space agency’s science mission directorate.