ESA and CONAE: 3D observations from Space

Results from the AlpTomoSAR field campaign in Austria supporting the development of Saocom-CS (Image: ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Argeninian Space Agency (CONAE) are collaborating to make 3D observations from space using two radar satellites in tandem.

ESA reported: “Following an offer from the Argentinian space agency, Conae, it is one of first ‘small satellite’ concepts to be studied by ESA. The idea is to build a companion satellite for Conae’s Saocom-1b, which is envisaged for launch in 2018–19 and use the satellites together. Saocom-1b will carry an L-band synthetic aperture radar. Saocom-CS would fly in formation with Saocom-1b, capturing its radar echoes as they are reflected from Earth’s surface.”

“These results have the potential to open up completely new cryospheric applications for the mission. They also nicely illustrate the unexplored possibilities offered by radar missions based on two or more satellites working as a convoy,” said Malcolm Davidson, ESA’s Saocom-CS mission scientist.

A decision whether or not to build the satellite mission is expected in early 2016.

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