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!
UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine
Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences