The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched the GCOM-W1 satellite. GCOM-W1 will undertake orbital manoeuvres for 45 days to place it in constellation with the A-train satellites.
GCOM-W1 is carrying the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR-2): a passive microwave instrument used for measuring the brightness temperature (and microwave emissivitty) of the Earths’ surface. AMSR-E the instrument’s predecessor died this year depriving climatologists and glaciologists of a great data source.
AMSR-2 has deployed the largest mirowave antenna in space. JAXA has a lovely image of the antenna on their website. We look forward to the successful commissioning of AMSR-2 and the start of data delivery!