At the latest meeting of its Earth Observation Programme Board, at headquarters in Paris on 23 and 24 February, Esa received the green light from member states to build and launch a CryoSat recovery mission, CryoSat-2.
"This decision is very important, as the scientific community in Europe and elsewhere is eagerly awaiting resumption of the CryoSat mission", said Volker Liebig, Esa Director of Earth observation programmes.
- The SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeter (Siral), designed to acquire more accurate measurement of land and sea ice surfaces, including irregular sloping edges of land ice. In the past, radar altimeters could deliver data only over the sea and large-scale homogeneous ice surfaces.
- A laser retroreflector, which will establish the satellite’s precise position, enabling the surface altitude to be determined from the radar signal return time.
- CNES's Doris* onboard ranging instrument, able to determine the satellite’s orbit with centimetre accuracy, operating in tandem with a network of ground stations.
It will also be tasked with monitoring orbit determination product performance, reprocessing data from Siral and long-term archiving of mission data at its new SALP** altimetry and precise positioning department.
* Doris: Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite
** Siral: Service d’Altimétrie et de Localisation Précise