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Second Scout gets the go-ahead

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Following the choice of the primary Scout satellite tv for pc mission final December, ESA has additionally given the greenlight to begin negotiations with Surrey Satellite tv for pc Know-how Ltd within the UK to guide the event of the second Scout mission – HydroGNSS.

Complementing ESA’s sequence of Earth Explorer analysis missions, Scout missions are a brand new component in ESA’s Earth Commentary FutureEO Programme. The concept is to exhibit the aptitude of small satellites to ship value-added science, both by the miniaturisation of current applied sciences or by demonstrating new sensing methods. Adopting an agile growth course of, the goal is to implement a Scout mission, from kick-off to launch, inside three years, and for a most of €30 million. This price range consists of the event of the house and floor segments, launch and in-orbit commissioning.

The primary Scout mission, ESP-MACCS, focuses on understanding and quantifying processes within the higher ambiance over the Tropics – these processes play an vital function within the general evolution of the ambiance. This second Scout mission, HydroGNSS, will present measurements of key hydrological local weather variables, together with soil moisture, freeze–thaw state over permafrost, inundation and wetlands, and above-ground biomass, utilizing a method known as International Navigation Satellite tv for pc System (GNSS) reflectometry. In doing so it can complement missions resembling ESA’s SMOS and Biomass, Copernicus Sentinel-1 and NASA’s SMAP.

HydroGNSS reflectometry

The satellite tv for pc measures the sign mirrored off the land, ice and ocean from current GNSS missions resembling Galileo and GPS. Though these indicators are faint, they are often collected by a low energy receiver that may be accommodated on a small satellite tv for pc in low Earth orbit making it suitable with a Scout mission.

The commercial consortium consists of Surrey Satellite tv for pc Know-how Ltd (UK) answerable for the event of the whole system, and a consortium of scientific institutes that can develop the retrieval methods to entry these key hydrological local weather variable from the mirrored sign: the Nationwide Oceanography Centre (UK), the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (UK), the College of Rome La Sapienza (IT), the Institute of House Research Catalonia (ES), and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FI).

ESA’s Performing Director of Earth Commentary Programmes, Toni Tolker-Nielsen, mentioned, “The choice to implement HydroGNSS after ESP-MACCS demonstrates that the Earth statement neighborhood could be very within the idea of Scout missions. We’re assured that this curiosity will additional flourish once we see the primary information in 2024.”

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