Glasgow-based laser specialist M Squared hails take-off of tie-up with satellite-maker

Glasgow-based photonics and quantum technology developer M Squared has announced a “significant” agreement with a major European satellite manufacturer – in a move it says will help tackle climate change.

It has teamed up with Thales Alenia Space to develop, deliver and support “highly advanced” laser systems spanning the visible to short-wave infrared region.

The Scottish firm’s lasers will be used to calibrate the payload that Thales Alenia Space is developing for the satellites of the CO2M mission, part of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Programme, looking at our planet and its environment for the benefit of Europe's citizens, and with German-based space and technology group OHB as prime contractor of the project.

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The CO2M payload is billed as being the first to measure how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere specifically through human activity. The mission will also measure nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to trace CO2 plumes and methane.

'We are excited to be supporting Thales Alenia Space and OHB System on the CO2M project,' says Dr Graeme Malcolm, founder and CEO of M Squared. Picture: John Devlin.

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M Squared’s multi-channel laser system will be used to calibrate the high-resolution spectrometer being developed by Thales Alenia Space – and will allow determination of highly accurate quantitative measurements of atmospheric CO2 and NO2 emissions.

The Glasgow-based firm – which last year was the first business to secure funds from the Scottish National Investment Bank – also said its innovations are addressing global scientific and technology challenges in fields including quantum computing, healthcare and virtual reality.

It said the CO2M project will benefit from its expertise in developing next-generation laser systems for calibrating earth observation satellite instruments.

M Squared added that it already supports various critical earth observation missions, including the CNES/UK Space Microcarb mission for CO2 monitoring, and the Copernicus Sentinel 4, Sentinel 5 and Sentinel 5P missions – with the latter “already providing critical data on Earth’s atmosphere”.

Dr Graeme Malcolm, founder and chief executive of M Squared, said: “M Squared makes the world's purest light – technology that has transformative, real-world, applications that can take on the climate emergency, greatly improve biomedical imaging, realise the next evolution of semiconductors, and now truly unlock the coming quantum age.

"We are excited to be supporting Thales Alenia Space and OHB System on the CO2M project towards understanding the effects of climate change and supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

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