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New imager will help climate modelling

SSTL has won a contract worth ‚¬1.6 million from Astrium GmbH, Germany to proceed with work on a new contract to develop and supply the Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI) for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) EarthCARE Mission. Earth Explorer Missions are part of the Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP). They are missions led by the European Space Agency to address primary research objectives. The EarthCARE Mission has been approved for implementation as the third Earth Explorer Core Mission. The mission will be implemented in collaboration with Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency who will provide one of the core Instruments. The EarthCARE mission has been specifically defined with the basic objective of improving the understanding of cloud-aerosol-radiation interactions so as to include them correctly and reliably in climate and numerical weather prediction models. The EarthCARE mission aims to improve the understanding of the Earth's radiation balance and to minimize uncertainties in climate change prediction models by acquiring accurate vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols, as well as measurements of top of the atmosphere radiance. The Multi Spectral Imager produced by SSTL will provide information on the horizontal structures of clouds, such as cloud type and cover, and cloud optical and microphysical properties. The instrument's 150 km swath will be used to extend to three dimensions the validity of the aerosol, cloud and radiance measurements made by the active EarthCARE instruments which are all directed towards the satellite ground track. This contract is for the first stage of the Phase B design study; the full Phase B is a 15 month programme. This will be followed by a Phase C/D leading to mission launch in 2013. SSTL is supported in the MSI programme by TNO from The Netherlands who are acting as subcontractors to SSTL.





28 May 20080 Comments1 Comment

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