August 23, 2018


The MicroCarb mission combines scientific and technical teams who are bringing their respective skills to the project and working together to guarantee its success.

Mission contributors:

  • CNES (the French space agency)
  • French scientific laboratories
  • National and European industry
  • United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) and UK manufacturers and science laboratories

The MicroCarb project is led by CNES in close partnership with the laboratories of IPSL and particularly LSCE, the joint research unit between CNRS (the French national scientific research centre), CEA (the French atomic energy and alternative energies commission) and the LMD dynamic meteorology laboratory.

The project is being funded through the French government’s PIA future investment programme managed by the Commissioner General for Investment (CGI), via an agreement between CNES and the national research agency ANR, and through CNES’s public subsidy and a contribution from UKSA.

CNES is responsible for:

  • Leading the system and satellite definition, development and qualification
  • Controlling overall mission performance
  • Implementing evolutions in the command and control ground centre
  • Specifying and developing the mission ground segment (control of the instrument, science data processing)
  • Interfaces with the launcher
  • Operations and exploitation of the system

The development of the instrument is being conducted by Airbus Defence & Space in Toulouse.

Scientific activities are coordinated by a mission group which includes:

  • A Principal Investigator
  • A group of scientists representative of the user community

The scientific laboratories are conducting algorithm developments and preparing the models and tools necessary to exploit the data.

François-Marie Bréon from LSCE is the lead scietist (PI) for the project and chairs the Mission Group.

Besides the PI from LSCE, the Mission Group is composed of representatives from different scientific research laboratories (CESBIO, CNRM, GSMA, LISA, LPMAA, LSCE and LMD).

This Mission Group is responsible in particular for:

  • Drawing up and validating the mission specifications
  • Discussing and making trade-offs between the mission specifications and the system's capabilities
  • Definying science products
  • Definying and implementing the programme for scientific support of the data and products
  • The data and publication policy
  • Validating the produced data