Minimize Earth Observation Mission News
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Return of GEDI’s first data reveals the third dimension of forests

15 April 2019

NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission launched in December 2018. From its perch aboard the International Space Station, GEDI's powerful lasers create detailed 3D maps of Earth's forests and topography – providing innovative and unique spaceborne observations. In January 2019, GEDI's lasers were turned on for the first time and the instrument is now giving scientists a first glimpse of the insights it will provide in the coming years.

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Getting ready to chart sea level

12 April 2019

Records show that, on average, global sea level rose by 3.2 mm a year between 1993 and 2018, but hidden within this average is the fact that the rate of rise has been accelerating over the last few years. Taking measurements of the height of the sea surface is essential to monitoring this worrying trend – and the Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission is on the way to being ready to do just this.

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NASA’s OCO-3 measures how plants grow - and glow

09 April 2019

When plants take in too much energy, they don't get fat — they lighten up. They absorb more sunlight than they need to power photosynthesis, and they get rid of the excess solar energy by emitting it as a very faint glow. The light is far too dim for us to notice under normal circumstances, but it can be measured with a spectrometer. Called solar-induced fluorescence (SIF), it's the most accurate signal of photosynthesis that can be observed from space.

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Aeolus well on the way to improving forecasts

05 April 2019

Assessing the accuracy of data being returned by completely new technology in space is a challenging task. But this is exactly what engineers and scientists have been dedicating their time to over the last months so that measurements of the world's winds being gathered by Aeolus can be fed confidently into weather forecast models.

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More Than a Carbon Copy: OCO-3 on the Space Station

02 April 2019

NASA is ready to launch a new space instrument that will use the vantage point of the International Space Station to monitor Earth's carbon cycle. A follow-on to the still-active OCO-2 mission, OCO-3 will bring not only a new vantage point but new techniques and new technologies to NASA's carbon dioxide observations. Why are we launching a new carbon observatory? Read on.

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Open data: over 36,000 historical RADARSAT-1 satellite images of the Earth now available to the public

01 April 2019

The Canadian Space Agency and the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation are making RADARSAT-1 synthetic aperture radar images of Earth available to researchers, industry and the public at no cost. The 36,500 images are available through the Government of Canada's Earth Observation Data Management System.

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Two Chinese Earth observation satellites put into service

22 March 2019

Two Chinese Earth observation satellites, the Gaofen-5 and Gaofen-6, were officially put into service on Thursday after completing in-orbit tests.

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Arianespace orbits 600th satellite, the PRISMA Earth observation satellite for the Italian Space Agency

21 March 2019

This was the first Vega launch in 2019, and the 14th successful launch in a row for this light launcher since its introduction at the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in 2012. The launch took place on Thursday, 21 March at 10:50 pm local time in French Guiana.

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Copernicus Sentinel-1 maps floods in wake of Idai

20 March 2019

As millions of people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe struggle to cope with the aftermath of what could be the southern hemisphere's worst storm, Copernicus Sentinel-1 is one of the satellite missions being used to map flooded areas to help relief efforts.

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Taking gravity from strength to strength

20 March 2019

Ten years ago, ESA launched one of its most innovative satellites. GOCE spent four years measuring a fundamental force of nature: gravity. This extraordinary mission not only yielded new insights into our gravity field, but led to some amazing discoveries about our planet, from deep below the surface to high up in the atmosphere and beyond. And, this remarkable mission continues to realise new science today.

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Sentinels monitor converging ice cracks

14 March 2019

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission shows how cracks cutting across Antarctica's Brunt ice shelf are on course to truncate the shelf and release an iceberg about the size of Greater London – it's just a matter of time.

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Waves on the ice – Canadian 'ice road' trucks in TanDEM-X's 'radar eye'

13 March 2019

Ice road truckers in Canada – symbolically 'at the end of the world' – with their massive trucks travelling over the frozen lakes in the Canadian northwest, are well known around the world thanks to numerous TV programmes.

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Copernicus Sentinel-3 provides new measurements of Antarctic Ice Sheet

08 March 2019

An international group of scientists have published the first study using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 Delay-Doppler altimeter, to monitor Antarctic Ice Sheet change.

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Odin celebrates 18 years in orbit

06 March 2019

ESA is proud to celebrate the excellent long-lasting performance of the Swedish-led Odin mission. Developed in collaboration with Canada, Finland and France, Odin reached its 18-year anniversary on 20 February 2019.

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Methane and ozone data products from Copernicus Sentinel-5P

04 March 2019

The Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission has been used to produce global maps of two atmospheric gases responsible for making our world warmer: methane, which is a particularly potent greenhouse gas, and ozone, which is a greenhouse gas and a pollutant in the lower part of the atmosphere. The maps give insight into where these gases are coming from.

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Copernicus Sentinel-3 provides added capability in land monitoring

28 February 2019

With two sensors now in orbit, the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellites could monitor some parts of the world almost daily. This capability could be crucial in monitoring rapidly developing events such as biotic/abiotic stress on crops and provide accurate and timely information from farmers to policy-makers, to develop appropriate mitigation strategies.

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On its 5th Anniversary, GPM Still Right as Rain

27 February 2019

Five years ago, on 27 Feb., 2014, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint satellite project by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), lifted off aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket. Since then, the cutting-edge instruments on GPM have provided advanced measurements about the rain and snow particles within clouds, Earth's precipitation patterns, extreme weather and myriad ways precipitation around the world affects society. Among the uses of GPM data are helping to forecast disease outbreaks in developing countries, producing global crop reports and identifying endangered Amazon river basins.

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Copernicus Sentinel-1 reveals shared plumbing led to Agung awakening

22 February 2019

When Mount Agung in Indonesia erupted in 2017, the search was on to find out why it had stirred. Thanks to information on ground deformation from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, scientists now have more insight into the volcano's hidden secrets that caused it to reawaken.

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Egyptian observation satellite launched by Russian rocket

21 February 2019

A Soyuz rocket, with the help of a Fregat upper stage, delivered an Egyptian Earth observation satellite into a polar orbit at an altitude of more than 400 miles (650 kilometers) Thursday, overcoming an apparent technical problem after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, according to Russian news reports.

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Landsat: the Cornerstone of Global Land Imaging

20 February 2019

The Landsat satellites provide an uninterrupted space-based data record of the Earth's land surface to help advance scientific research towards understanding our changing planet.

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