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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Latest Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Stories

EDRS Becoming A Reality
2011-10-04 11:03:46

A public—private partnership contract signed with Astrium means that ESA is moving ahead with an independent, European satellite system that will speed up the transmission of large quantities of data beginning in 2014. The public—private partnership (PPP) for the European Data Relay System (EDRS) demonstrates ESA´s capability to pull together resources and knowhow from several partners under an efficient and operational scheme. The PPP approach allows industry to take...

Image 1- Arctic Ice Closes In On Record Low
2011-09-14 07:15:20

  A new record low could soon be set for ice in the Arctic. The past five years have seen the lowest extent of sea ice since satellite measurements began in the 1970s. Earth observing satellites make it possible to measure the amount of sea ice in inaccessible areas such as the Arctic. This year, the extent of Arctic sea ice is comparable to the record low set in 2007. According to scientists at the University of Bremen in Germany, sea ice extent in early September has...

Image 1 - ERS Satellite Missions Complete
2011-09-12 09:33:03

  After a final thruster firing last week to deplete its remaining fuel, ESA's venerable ERS-2 observation satellite has been safely taken out of service. Ground controllers also ensured the space environment was protected for future missions. The mission ended on 5 September, after the satellite's average altitude had already been lowered from 785 km to about 573 km. At this height, the risk of collision with other satellites or space debris is greatly reduced. The final...

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2011-07-12 11:05:50

ESA yesterday awarded a contract worth almost &eur;150 million to Astrium to develop and build two satellite sensors that will monitor Earth's atmosphere as part of Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program. The identical spectrometers, known as Sentinel-4, will each be carried on Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) weather satellites, to be launched in 2019 and 2027. From geostationary orbit 36 000 km above the equator, Sentinel-4 will provide data every hour on the...

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2011-07-05 13:08:10

After 16 years spent gathering a wealth of data that has revolutionized our understanding of Earth, ESA's veteran ERS-2 satellite is being retired. This pioneering mission has not only advanced science, but also forged the technologies we now rely on for monitoring our planet. ERS-2 was launched in 1995, following its sister, the first European Remote Sensing satellite, which was launched four years earlier. Carrying suites of sophisticated instruments to study the complexities of the...

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2011-06-16 09:37:48

On June 15, the European Commission has signed an agreement confirming the transfer of funds to ESA for the initial operations of the space component for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program. The agreement, which secures &eur;104 million, was signed at ESA Headquarters in Paris by Heinz Zourek, Director General of the European Commission's DG Enterprise and Industry, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA. This agreement follows on from the EU Regulation that...

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2011-05-26 08:58:34

Sustainable food production remains a pressing challenge, so scientists have been assessing the potential of the future Sentinel-1 mission to deliver new methods of monitoring crops grown around the world from space. Sentinel-1, expected to be launched in 2013, is one of the five missions that ESA is developing for Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program. While the design of the Sentinel-1 mission is primarily based on marine applications such as ship detection and...

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2011-04-11 06:12:21

The Sentinel satellites that are being developed to yield data for information services through Europe's GMES program also have great potential to advance our understanding of Earth. Scientists gathered recently to discuss how to get the most out of these missions. The Sentinels for Science workshop, held at ESA's Centre for Earth Observation in Italy, set the stage for more than 200 scientists to analyze and prioritize how the various data products from Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3...

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2011-03-23 11:38:04

An ESA project has recently demonstrated that new ways of processing satellite data can show how different properties of snow can be observed from space. This new method is expected to lead to a much deeper understanding of the role snow plays in the Earth system. Snow is a fundamental component of Earth's energy and water cycles. It plays an important role reflecting solar radiation back out to space, emits heat and holds a significant percentage of the global freshwater budget. However,...

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2011-03-09 13:59:13

To ensure that a continuous flow of accurate and timely satellite data is available to forecast the weather and study climate change in the coming decades, ESA is looking to the future by preparing the next generation of MetOp satellites. The current MetOp series has three identical satellites. Launched in 2006, MetOp-A is Europe's first polar-orbiting mission dedicated to operational meteorology, and will be followed by MetOp-B in 2012 and MetOp-C in 2016. These first three MetOp satellites...