Oferte Emag

Space Cowboys – 2000

Clint Eastwood plays a retired space engineer. When he is called upon to rescue a failing satellite, he insists that his old teammates accompany him into space.

More details at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0186566/

ESA presents the sharpest ever satellite map of Earth

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Copyright ESA

The most detailed portraits ever of the Earth’s land surface have been created with ESA’s Envisat environmental satellite. The portraits are the first products produced as part of the ESA-initiated GlobCover project and are available online.

Bimonthly global composites for May to June 2005 and March to April 2006 can be accessed through a newly developed map server tool on ESA’s GlobCover website. On 19 June, additional bimonthly global composites will be made available as well as the first part of a global land cover map over Eurasia.

Around 40 terabytes of imagery – an amount of data equivalent to the content of 40 million books – were acquired between December 2004 and June 2006 and processed to generate the global composites. The composites will support the international community in modelling climate change extent and impacts, studying ecosystems and plotting worldwide land-use trends.

The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Ron Witt said: “The GlobCover data sets should allow UNEP to do frequent monitoring of environmentally-critical sites and known ‘hot spots’ in areas we have under examination around the globe, and to update our knowledge of such changing environmental conditions, in order to alert the global community to emerging [...]

CryoSat – a satellite with an icy mission

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Copyright ESA

On 8 February the ESA Director of Earth Observation, José Achache, signed the contract confirming that Astrium will build the new European environmental and climate satellite CryoSat.

The satellite is planned for an April 2004 launch into a polar orbit and will measure changes in the thickness of ice sheets and polar ocean sea-ice cover with unprecedented accuracy for at least three years. The satellite will provide climate researchers with data previously not available from these uninhabited regions. The industrial contract, worth some 70 million euros, involves a number of European partners, in particular Alcatel Space Industries, which is responsible for the SIRAL instrument.

The evidence of climate warming can no longer be ignored. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed in its most recent (2001) report: the average global surface temperature rose by 0.6 degrees in the 20th century; the year 1998 was the warmest since 1861, when instrumental recording started. Climate data estimate that the 20th century was the warmest in the last thousand years. At the same time, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and methane, have grown by 30 and 150 percent respectively as a result of [...]

Perfect images transmitted via a laser link between Artemis and SPOT 4

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Copyright ESA

On 30 November, the first-ever transmission of an image by laser link from one satellite to another took place.

The system, called SILEX, consists of the Opale terminal on Artemis and the Pastel terminal on the SPOT 4 satellite. It was designed in close cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency (CNES) and manufacturer Astrium with over 20 European contractors involved. The terminals exchange high-definition imagery data at 50 megabits per second. Artemis subsequently beams the data at its leisure to the receiving station operated by Spot Image at Toulouse, using a conventional 20 GHz radio link.

In the past few weeks ESA, CNES and experts from Astrium have performed a battery of tests to validate the performance of a laser link established between ESA’s Artemis spacecraft, operating at an altitude of 31 000 km, and the CNES SPOT 4 satellite orbiting at 832 km.

The SILEX terminals on both satellites demonstrated their robustness, successfully carrying out all the required operations. Acquisition was systematically obtained within the specified periods and the optical link was in all cases maintained throughout the pre-programmed duration. Communication performance was assessed by measuring the bit error rate – excellent [...]