Astrium To Build Two New Research Satellites For NASA | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 03.23.15

Airborne 03.24.15

Airborne 03.25.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.27.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 03.23.15

Airborne 03.24.15

Airborne 03.25.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.27.15

Sun, Dec 02, 2012

Astrium To Build Two New Research Satellites For NASA

Twin Grace Follow-On Satellites To Investigate The Earth's Gravity Field

European space technology company Astrium has been commissioned to build two new research satellites for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. The agreement was signed Friday in Friedrichshafen, Germany. For a minimum of five years from August 2017, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (Grace FO) mission will continue the extremely accurate measurement data collection of the first twin Grace satellites, which have been in orbit since 17 March 2002.

Astrium’s Grace satellites have been making a hugely important contribution to global climate research since 2002. Based on their observations of changes in the Earth’s gravity field over time, geoscientists are gaining new insights into the dynamic processes in the planet’s interior, into deep and surface currents in the oceans, and into variations in the extent of ice coverage at the poles, in Greenland and over mountain ranges. The original Grace mission allowed scientists for the first time to identify which masses of water, ice and solid material are moving; Grace is even able to provide long-term observation of water table levels around the world.

Like their predecessors, the Grace FO satellites will be placed in a polar orbit at an altitude of some 310 miles and follow each other 135 miles apart. As they fly, the two satellites constantly and extremely precisely determine the distance between them, which varies under the influence of the Earth’s gravity; this fluctuating distance provides the data for continued measurement of our planet’s gravity field.

The measurements taken by the Grace FO satellites will be exceptionally accurate because their positions will be minutely ascertained using on-board GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers, while a satellite-to-satellite microwave link will enable the exact distance between them to be calculated to within a few thousandths of a millimetre. In contrast to the original Grace mission, the distance between the new satellites will also be measured using lasers – a technological experiment in preparation for future generations of gravity-research satellites.
 
Throughout the five-year mission, these measurements will be used to generate an updated model of the Earth’s gravitational field every 30 days. In addition, every day each satellite will create up to 200 profiles of temperature distribution and water vapour content in the atmosphere and ionosphere.

FMI: www.nasa.gov, www.astrium.eads.net

 


Advertisement

More News

Airborne 03.27.15: Cockpit Changes Announced, Maine v UAVs, NBAA v Santa Monica

Also: AirVenture Update, Barnstorming Opines On Media Aero-Reporting, NTSB Update, ERAU Scholarships, Doolittle Raiders, Tecnam P2010 The loss of Germanwings Flight 9525 due to wha>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (03.29.15)

"Rover challenge puts students in the driver's seat of real-world engineering. Students perform research with computer-aided designs, select and fabricate components using mechanic>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.29.15): Comet

Comet A ball of rock and ice, often referred to as a “dirty snowball.” Typically a few kilometers in diameter, comets orbit the Sun in paths that either allow them to p>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.29.15)

Aero Linx: New Jersey Aviation Association NJAA was formed in 2000 to promote, protect and preserve the state's multi billion dollar general aviation industry. Its membership inclu>[...]

NASA Core Flight System Software Available To The Public

NASA Goddard Releases Open Source Application Suite The Innovative Technology Partnerships Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, announced the releas>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC