A close eye on ice
For 3 years, CryoSat will measure the height and thickness of polar ice caps and sea ice with a view to improving our understanding of the complex interactions between Earth’s oceans, cryosphere and atmosphere, and especially ocean heat transports.
These measurements will also help to predict glacial ice melt and its possible impact on global warming.
CryoSat will be sent aloft in October by a Russian Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. It will be placed into a low-Earth polar orbit at an altitude of 717 km.
Doris - the space surveyor
This system is capable of determining the satellite’s orbit with centimetre accuracy, using a network of Earth stations as ground reference points.
CNES is also providing its network of Doris ground locator beacons for the mission.
1 Doris: Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite
2 Siral: SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter
3 Salp: Precise-Positioning and Altimetry Department