Nasa has selected the Geosynchronous Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR) to observe the coastal regions of the Earth.

The GLIMR is a space-based instrument under the space agency’s Earth Venture Instrument (EVI) portfolio.

It will monitor and observe coastal waters to help protect ecosystem sustainability and improve resource management while enhancing economic activity.

It will offer unique observations of ocean biology, chemistry and ecology in the Gulf of Mexico, sections of the south-eastern US coastline, and the Amazon river where it enters into the Atlantic Ocean.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “This innovative instrument from the University of New Hampshire, selected by Nasa, will provide a powerful new tool for studying important ecosystems.

“Its findings also will bring economic benefits to fisheries, tourism, and recreation in the coastline area.”

The instrument was competitively selected as part of Nasa’s fifth EVI solicitation and is considered to be the largest Nasa contract ($107.9m) awarded in the history of the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

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New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen said: “Securing federal resources that invest in scientific research and exploration have been and will continue to be top priorities for me as the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee tasked with funding these important programs.”

The GLIMR instrument will be launched in the 2026-2027 timeframe from one of the Nasa’s integrated platforms and sent up into a geosynchronous orbit.

From this point, the instrument will be able to monitor a wide area, centred on the Gulf of Mexico, up to 15 hours a day.

It will be capable of gathering many observations of a given area each day and study coastal phytoplankton blooms or oil spills in a way that is not possible from Earth’s low-orbiting satellites.

Nasa Science Mission Directorate headquarters associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said: “With GLIMR, scientists can better understand coastal regions and develop advanced predictive tools for these economically and ecologically important systems.

“As part of Nasa’s commitment to Earth Science, I am thrilled to include this instrument in our portfolio as we keep an eye on our ever-changing planet for the benefit of many.”