Due for launch next spring, ESAs ice mission CryoSat marked an important milestone last week when the innovative SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL) instrument was delivered to the prime contractor Astruim GmbH for integration into the satellite.
Developed by Alcatel Space, the SIRAL radar altimeter is the key instrument to be carried on the CryoSat mission. Its design is based on heritage from existing radar altimeters but with a number of sophisticated enhancements to overcome the challenges of measuring two different kinds of ice cover. SIRAL will be able to acquire very precise measurements of the thickness of relatively thin floating sea-ice so that annual variations can be observed, and also accurately survey the surface of polar ice-sheets, which are kilometres thick, in order to detect any small changes.
CryoSat is the first Earth Explorer satellite to be launched as part of ESAs Living Planet Programme. It is now generally agreed that the Earths atmosphere is warming, however, it is very difficult to predict what effect this is having on polar ice cover. Since ice plays such an important role in the regulation of the Earths climate and sea-level height, it is crucial to determine any change in the thickness of marine and continental ice cover.
Michael Rast | alfa
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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