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ESA moves forward with Harmony

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23/02/2021
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Following the number of three Earth Explorer candidate missions to enter a primary feasibility examine in September 2018, ESA has chosen one of many candidates, Concord, to maneuver to the following part of growth. Concord is envisaged as a mission with two satellites that orbit in formation with one of many Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites to handle key scientific questions associated to ocean, ice and land dynamics.

Earth Explorers are analysis missions making use of new commentary methods to reply to the wants of the scientific neighborhood of their quest to know completely different points of the Earth system and the interactions that bind the system as a complete. Advancing science and know-how, they tackle questions which have direct bearings on societal points comparable to the provision of meals, water, power and sources, public well being and local weather change.

Three ideas, Daedalus, Concord (previously referred to as Stereoid) and Hydroterra (previously referred to as G-Class), have spent the final two years being scrutinised as to their scientific, technical and budgetary feasibility to be ESA’s tenth Earth Explorer mission.

This step has now culminated in ESA’s Programme Board for Earth Statement (PB-EO) accepting ESA’s proposal, primarily based on the advice from the Advisory Committee for Earth Statement (ACEO) and its personal analysis that Concord ought to be taken ahead to the following examine part.

This part, Section-A, contains additional feasibility evaluation after in-depth system definition, together with the design of the satellite tv for pc platform and devices, flight operations, know-how developments and the way greatest to take advantage of the info.

Harmony

Josef Aschbacher, Director of ESA’s Earth Statement Programmes, mentioned, “Concord is an thrilling idea and we’re thrilled to have it transferring to the following step for additional design consolidation and feasibility evaluation. We count on agency choice on full implementation, that means growth by to launch and commissioning, might be taken in autumn 2022 by ESA Member States, upon completion of Section-A actions.”

The Concord idea includes two equivalent satellites that will fly in convoy with a Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite tv for pc. Every Concord satellite tv for pc is being designed to hold a receive-only artificial aperture radar as its primary instrument. Working along with Sentinel-1’s radar, Concord would offer knowledge to measure small shifts within the form of the land floor comparable to these associated to earthquakes and volcanic exercise, thereby contributing to threat monitoring. It will additionally enable for the examine of 3D deformation and circulation dynamics of glaciers on the quickly altering marginal zones of the ice sheets for a greater understanding of sea-level rise.

Each Concord satellites would additionally carry a multibeam thermal-infrared instrument, which within the presence of clouds will allow the measurement of height-resolved cloud actions. In absence of clouds, this multibeam thermal-infrared instrument will measure sea-surface temperature variations.

Concord would even be the primary mission to offer knowledge to enhance our understanding of interactions between the air and the ocean floor by offering simultaneous measurements of wind, waves, currents, that along with measurements of sea floor thermal variations and cloud movement will allow an unprecedented view of the marine atmospheric boundary layer.

In essence, Concord addresses key science questions in a number of domains. Its commentary idea permits distinctive measurements over timescales starting from tens of milliseconds (to measure ocean currents) to years (to measure stable Earth floor movement).

Dr Aschbacher added, “Although the advice of ACEO had additionally included Daedalus as a possible Section-A candidate, it was not proposed for choice attributable to strict adherence to the price constraints established by the PB-EO. However, ACEO recommended each Daedalus and Hydroterra mission ideas for the exploratory nature of their observations and doubtlessly ground-breaking science targets.

“ESA plans to discover choices to additional examine the Daedalus idea in a special framework, by potential worldwide cooperation. In the meantime, some risk-reduction research will proceed on each Daedalus and Hydroterra to be able to additional mature every idea.”

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