Second Scout Satellite Mission Gets the Go-Ahead

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HydroGNSS

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The 2nd Earth observation Scout objective, HydroGNSS, will offer measurements of essential hydrological environment variables, consisting of soil wetness, freeze–thaw state over permafrost, inundation and wetlands, and above-ground biomass, utilizing a strategy called Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry. In doing so it will match objectives such as ESA’s SMOS and Biomass, Copernicus Sentinel-1 and NASA’s SMAP. Credit: SSTL

Following the choice of the very first Scout satellite objective last December, ESA has actually likewise provided the greenlight to begin settlements with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in the UK to lead the advancement of the 2nd Scout objective – HydroGNSS.

Complementing ESA’s series of Earth Explorer research study objectives, Scout objectives are a brand-new aspect in ESA’s Earth Observation FutureEO Programme. The concept is to show the ability of little satellites to provide value-added science, either by the miniaturization of existing innovations or by showing brand-new picking up strategies. Adopting a nimble advancement procedure, the objective is to carry out a Scout objective, from kick-off to launch, within 3 years, and for an optimum of €30 million. This budget plan consists of the advancement of the area and ground sections, launch, and in-orbit commissioning.

The very first Scout objective, ESP-MACCS, concentrates on understanding and measuring procedures in the upper environment over the Tropics – these procedures play an essential function in the total advancement of the environment. This 2nd Scout objective, HydroGNSS, will offer measurements of essential hydrological environment variables, consisting of soil wetness, freeze–thaw state over permafrost, inundation and wetlands, and above-ground biomass, utilizing a strategy called Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry. In doing so it will match objectives such as ESA’s SMOS and Biomass, Copernicus Sentinel-1 and NASA’s SMAP.

HydroGNSS Reflectometry

HydroGNSS will offer measurements of essential hydrological environment variables, consisting of soil wetness, freeze–thaw state over permafrost, inundation and wetlands, and above-ground biomass, utilizing a strategy called Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry. In doing so it will match objectives such as ESA’s SMOS and Biomass, Copernicus Sentinel-1 and NASA’s SMAP. The satellite determines the signal showed off the land, ice, and ocean from existing GNSS objectives such as Galileo and GPS. Credit: SSTL

The satellite determines the signal showed off the land, ice, and ocean from existing GNSS objectives such as Galileo and GPS. Although these signals are faint, they can be gathered by a low power receiver that can be accommodated on a little satellite in low Earth orbit making it suitable with a Scout objective.

The commercial consortium includes Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (UK) in charge of the advancement of the total system, and a consortium of clinical institutes that will establish the retrieval strategies to gain access to these essential hydrological environment variable from the shown signal: the National Oceanography Centre (UK), the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (UK), the University of Rome La Sapienza (IT), the Institute of Space Studies Catalonia (ES), and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FI).

ESA’s Acting Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Toni Tolker-Nielsen, stated, “The decision to implement HydroGNSS after ESP-MACCS demonstrates that the Earth observation community is very interested in the concept of Scout missions. We are confident that this interest will further flourish when we see the first data in 2024.”



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