The Asher Space Research Institute at the Technion, in collaboration with the National Centre for Space and Science in the United Arab Emirates and ImageSat International, are developing a first-of-its-kind technological demonstrator to address the global climate crisis. As part of the demonstration, a satellite will be developed to control and reduce the amount of solar energy that reaches the earth from the sun, thereby reducing global warming by up to one and a half degrees per year.
The operational satellite will be eventually placed at the first Lagrange point (L1), at a distance of about one and a half million kilometres from the surface of the earth, and will perform a variable movement towards the sun and back to the earth, by controlling the shading sail. In this way, the satellite will be able to maintain its position in space for a significant duration and without dependence on complex propulsion systems. In addition, tilting the sail, or controlling the sail’s ability to transmit light, will make it possible to determine the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface from the sun and adapt to global climate needs. This ground-breaking project offers an original way to cope with the global climate crisis and perhaps even stop its destructive effects. Controlling the amount of energy that reaches the earth from the sun may even allow humanity in the future to directly control the desired climate over areas of interest on the earth and possibly prevent droughts and other climate related natural disasters.