Prof. Duncan Wingham, Lead Investigator for the CryoSat mission, stated, "The satellite is in very good shape – exceeding in-orbit specifications, the ground segment software is fine, the system of data distribution looks good and we are excited by the quality of data being received.
These data also demonstrate the added coverage that CryoSat-2 delivers. The satellite's orbit brings it closer to the poles than earlier observation satellites, covering an additional 4.6 million sq km – an area larger than all 27 European Union member states put together.
CryoSat is Europe's first mission dedicated to monitoring Earth's ice fields. The satellite carries the first radar altimeter of its kind to overcome the difficulties of measuring icy surfaces.Its primary payload, the sophisticated SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL), can measure the thickness of sea ice down to centimetres and monitor changes in the ice sheets on land, particularly around the edges where icebergs are calved from the vast ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica.
"We have had some hiccups with the science data processor – after all, a radar like this has never flown in space before. But we’ve shaken most of these out now and the results are looking very good," said CryoSat-2 Project Manager Richard Francis.
"In particular the resolution of this system is amazing. We can see lots of detail in this track over part of Antarctica, made on the day the SIRAL instrument was first switched on."
It was also announced today that orbit data from the Doppler Orbit and Radio Positioning Integration by Satellite (DORIS) radio receiver will be released in early July.
DORIS is a tracking system carried by CryoSat-2 to detect and measure the Doppler shift on signals broadcast from a network of radio beacons around the world. These signals are used for orbit determination, down to millimetre level and essential for accurately measuring the height of the ice surface.
Since the data from DORIS have been validated and shown to be excellent, they are being released to the community before the end of commissioning.
Now half-way through commissioning, CryoSat-2 is clearly well on track to delivering the precise data on ice-thickness change that are much-needed to provide a better insight into what is happening to Earth's ice cover as a result of climate change.
Robert Meisner | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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