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Sentinel-6 passes in-orbit tests with flying colours

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08/02/2021
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In November 2020, the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc was launched into orbit from the Vandenberg Air Power Base in California, US. Now, months later, the satellite tv for pc has efficiently handed what is called the ‘in-orbit verification part’, the place its gear is switched on and the devices’ efficiency is checked.

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc is the primary of two similar satellites to supply essential measurements of sea-level change. The satellite tv for pc carries a brand new digital altimeter, Poseidon-4, that makes use of devoted onboard processing to return much more exact measurements of the peak of the ocean floor.

Within the satellite tv for pc’s early days post-launch, the devoted flight management group at ESA’s Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, took meticulous care of the brand new Sentinel in what is called the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP). As soon as accomplished, ESA’s mission management group handed over command and management of the satellite tv for pc to Eumetsat – Europe’s climate and local weather satellite tv for pc organisation – who took over duty of commissioning, routine operations and distribution of the mission’s very important information.

Mission Control Room

On 27 January, ESA together with Sentinel-6’s key companions, together with Airbus, Thales Alenia Area, Eumetsat, NASA, French Area Company CNES and NOAA, accomplished the satellite tv for pc’s ‘in-orbit verification part’.

One of many checks carried out included cross-calibrating the satellite tv for pc’s altimeter information with measurements from the Copernicus Sentinel-Three and Jason missions. These checks are accomplished at ESA’s Everlasting Facility for Altimetry Calibration (PFAC) in Crete, Greece, the place the usage of transponders are used to obtain and re-transmit radar pulses again to the satellite tv for pc in house to confirm its efficiency.

These measurements have been used to exhibit that the altimeter measurements are performing to expectation.

Robert Cullen, Copernicus Sentinel-6 Payload and System Supervisor at ESA, mentioned, “From our preliminary analyses, the altimeter important wave top and vary uncertainty are considerably higher in comparison with the earlier Sentinel-Three and Jason-Three missions.”

Luisella Giulicchi, Copernicus Sentinel-6 System Supervisor at ESA, accountable for coordinating the satellite tv for pc’s in-orbit verification part, added, “We discovered all satellite tv for pc subsystems to be working in good order. The satellite tv for pc’s newly-deployed GNSS Exact Orbit Dedication receiver, which mixes each GPS and Galileo constellations indicators, exhibits an impressive preliminary efficiency, together with the remainder of the navigation techniques on board the satellite tv for pc.”

“Since 18 December, Sentinel-6 has been in its remaining orbit, trailing simply 30 seconds behind Jason-Three. This explicit trailing formation is required for 12 months earlier than Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will take over from Jason-Three because the operational reference mission.”

Extra about Copernicus Sentinel-6

Rising seas are high of the record of main considerations linked to local weather change. Monitoring sea-surface top is essential to understanding the adjustments happening in order that decision-makers have the proof to implement insurance policies to assist curb local weather change and in order that authorities can take motion to guard weak communities.

The primary sea-surface top ‘reference’ measurements have been provided by the French–US Topex-Poseidon satellite tv for pc, which was adopted by three successive Jason missions. They present that since 1993 the worldwide sea degree has risen, on common, by simply over Three mm yearly. Much more worryingly, over the previous couple of years the worldwide ocean has risen, on common, by four.eight mm a 12 months. Copernicus Sentinel-6’s function is to proceed this legacy of essential measurements.

Study extra in regards to the Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission.

Copernicus Sentinel-6 in motion


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