Feeds

ESA's Sentinel-1 earth-gazing satellite will be flung aloft later this year

Copernicus mission's bird heads for South American launchpad

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The European Space Agency's (ESA'S) Copernicus earth observation mission is about to take flight, with the agency yesterday revealing that the program's first satellite is undergoing final tests before its launch later this year.

Previously known as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) project, Copernicus is designed to monitor the natural environment to help science, help nations deliver data proving their compliance with certain treaties and also lend a hand dealing with natural disasters.

Those capabilities are also said to have a security function, inasmuch as availability of – and rights to – natural resources are the kind of things nations are getting testy about these days. Better observations are thought to be one way to head off conflicts.

Copernicus project data will be open: the European Space Agency promises it will be available for anyone to access and download. The satellite will be shipped to French Guiana for a Soyuz-assisted ascent in late March.

Sentinel-1 will send back readings from a Synthetic Aperture Radar that, when used in Interferometric Wide Swath mode, “has a swath width of 250 km and a ground resolution of 5×20 m”. Images will cover all of Europe and Canada, plus Atlantic shipping lanes, every one to three days. A second Sentinel-1 satellite with the same instruments is planned to go aloft in a few years.

Sentinels 2, 3, 4 and 5 are already on the drawing board, with launches planned for 2014 and 2015.

ESA boffins, and researchers beyond the agency, are excited about the new satellite, not least because it will ensure images continue to be available after current satellites that provide similar services fail. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.