This Saturday, the Sentinel-6A Michael Freilich satellite took off from the United States on a SpaceX rocket and entered orbit. Its powerful radar altimeter will provide measurements of ocean rise, which is a global problem threatening the lifestyles of millions of people along the coast.
In the same week, French Guiana’s Vega rocket failed to launch, losing the Spanish mission Ingenio and another French reusable rocket. Falcon 9 The company’s Space X Successfully put the satellite into orbit Outpost No. 6 European plan Copernicus Observe the earth.
It took off from the U.S. Air Force Base in Vandenberg, California, at 6:17 pm (Spanish Peninsula time) on November 21.Just an hour later, this new satellite has entered orbit and is officially called Outpost 6 Michael Freilich (Michael Freilich) To commemorate the former director of NASA’s Department of Earth Sciences, who passed away this year.
He emphasized: “The Sixth Sentinel will continue to conduct sea level surveys, so it is necessary to understand and monitor the worrying trend of sea level rise.” Josef AschbacherDirector of the Earth Observation Program of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Given that millions of people around the world live in coastal communities, sea level rise is one of the biggest issues related to climate change. Monitoring the sea level is the key to understanding the changes that are taking place so that decision makers have evidence to formulate appropriate policies to curb climate change, and the authorities can take action to protect vulnerable communities.
In the past three decades, the mission of French Americans Topex-Poseidon with Jason Used as a reference and combined with previous ESA ERS and Envisat missions and current missions Cryogenic satellite with Outpost No. 3 Copernicus’s research shows how the average sea level rises by 3.2 millimeters per year. More worryingly, this increase has accelerated in recent years to the current average of 4.8 millimeters per year.
Sentinel-6B will launch in 5 years
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will soon pick up the baton and expand on this data set, which is currently the standard for climate research.Tasks include Two identical satellites launched one after anotherTherefore, Sentinel-6B will be launched in five years to continue working.Together, the task will ensure data continuity Until at least 2030.
Each satellite carries one Radar altimeter, It measures the time it takes for a radar pulse to travel to the surface of the earth and return to a satellite. When the altimeter measurement results are combined with accurate satellite positioning data, it can indicate the height of the sea level.
The satellite instrument kit also includes an advanced Microwave radiometer, It measures the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, which affects the speed of the altimeter radar pulse.
Although the old system has always been the key to mission design, Sentinel-6 is the first Synthetic Open Radar A series of high-altitude reference missions. In order to avoid biasing the time data, the radar instrument operates in continuous burst mode, while providing conventional measurements in low-resolution mode and enhancing the performance of synthetic aperture radar processing.
Sentinel-6 uses its radar altimeter to operate. / That
In order to ensure that the time series of data is continuous despite the use of different technologies, the new 1.2-ton satellite will be only 30 seconds behind Jason-3 in its first year of orbit.
Go around Over 1,300 kilometers above sea level In the case of 66°N and 66°S, Sentinel-6 will provide enough measurements to map the sea height of more than 95% of the Earth’s ice-free oceans every 10 days.
Cooperation between Europe and America
Although Sentinel-6 is part of the European Union Copernicus Mission series, its implementation is the result of cooperation between ESA and the European Space Agency. European Commission, European Meteorological Satellite Development Organization (Eumetsat), This NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noah) And the National Space Research Center (Chinese National Academy of Sciences)from France.
Some Spanish companies, such as Airbus of Spain (Who participated in the structure and wiring of the satellite) and Catalan isardSAT It is part of an international consortium.
Timo PesonenThe Deputy Director-General of the Department of Defense Industry and Space of the European Commission (DG DEFIS) welcomed the new satellite, “It will improve the daily lives of our citizens by providing information and advanced products in the ocean and atmosphere.”
ESA is responsible for the development of the Poseidon-4 radar altimeter and the entire Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, and provides the Copernicus Sentinel-6B satellite on behalf of the European Commission and Eumetsat.
Ownership was transferred to the European Commission after takeoff. ESA is responsible for early orbital phases and on-orbit verification plans, and supports flight operations conducted by Eumetsat. It is responsible for the development of the ground part and the operation of the early stages of launch and orbit, as well as the processing of data and the provision of data services and products to European users.
Key indicators of climate change
Alain RatierThe CEO of Eumetsat said: “The sentinel’s data will be the most accurate data to date, and will be used to better understand global sea level rise (a key indicator of climate change). These data will also be used for weather forecasts to improve The accuracy of seasonal forecasts is essential to predicting the path of hurricanes and hurricanes.”
NASA is responsible for the development of launch services, microwave radiometers, laser retroreflectors and GNSS radio stealth receivers. It also provides partial support on the ground and contributes to data processing and operations in the United States, and will share the responsibility of distributing data products to users in that country with NOAA.
“Mike of course He helped NASA establish strong partnerships with scientists and space agencies around the world, and his love of oceanography and earth science helped us better understand our beautiful planet. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA Associate Science Administrator.
“This satellite, our European partners have given a friendly name, it will perform the basic work that Mike believes in, and increase the legacy of important data about our oceans, and advance it for the benefit of future generations. This work.”.