Second Scout gets the go-ahead

(30 March 2021 – ESA) Following the number of the primary Scout satellite tv for pc mission final December, ESA has additionally given the greenlight to start out negotiations with Surrey Satellite tv for pc Expertise Ltd within the UK to steer the event of the second Scout mission – HydroGNSS.

Complementing ESA’s sequence of Earth Explorer analysis missions, Scout missions are a brand new factor in ESA’s Earth Remark FutureEO Programme. The thought is to display the aptitude of satellites to ship value-added science, both by the miniaturisation of current applied sciences or by demonstrating new sensing . Adopting an agile course of, the purpose is to implement a Scout mission, from kick-off to launch, inside three years, and for a most of €30 million. This finances contains the event of the area and floor segments, launch and in-orbit commissioning.

The primary Scout mission, ESP-MACCS, focuses on understanding and quantifying processes within the higher ambiance over the Tropics – these processes play an essential position within the total evolution of the ambiance. This second Scout mission, HydroGNSS, will present measurements of key hydrological local weather variables, together with soil moisture, freeze–thaw state over permafrost, inundation and wetlands, and above-ground biomass, utilizing a method referred to as Navigation Satellite tv for pc System (GNSS) reflectometry. In doing so it is going to complement missions similar to ESA’s SMOS and Biomass, Copernicus -1 and NASA’s SMAP.

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HydroGNSS (courtesy: ESA)

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HydroGNSS reflectometry (courtesy: SSTL)

The satellite tv for pc measures the sign mirrored off the land, and ocean from current GNSS missions similar to Galileo and GPS. Though these indicators are faint, they are often collected by a low energy receiver that may be accommodated on a small satellite tv for pc in low Earth orbit making it appropriate with a Scout mission.

The economic consortium consists of Surrey Satellite tv for pc Expertise Ltd (UK) in command of the event of the whole system, and a consortium of scientific institutes that may develop the retrieval methods to entry these key hydrological local weather variable from the mirrored sign: the Nationwide Oceanography Centre (UK), the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (UK), the College of Rome La Sapienza (IT), the Institute of Area Research Catalonia (ES), and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FI).

ESA’s Appearing Director of Earth Remark Programmes, Toni Tolker-Nielsen, stated, “The choice to implement HydroGNSS after ESP-MACCS demonstrates that the Earth statement neighborhood may be very within the of Scout missions. We’re assured that this will additional flourish once we see the primary information in 2024.”

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