ESA’s 7th Earth Explorer

Following a User Consultation Meeting, held in Graz in March, the decision on which candidate mission will be selected for the 7th Earth Explorer, approaches. ESA will make a decision in May according to ESA’s website.

The three missions are:

-Biomass, a P-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) which will improve our ability to map forest biomass,

-CoReH2O, a dual-band SAR which aims to improve the quality of operational snow cover maps,

-PREMIER, a troposphere-stratosphere chemistry mission.

I’d be happy if either of the SAR systems were chosen. Biomass could be interesting for ice sheet studies, with deep penetration into glacier ice. CoReH2O offers interesting possibilities with X- and Ku-band SAR acquisitions. I wonder though if after Cryosat-1 and -2 there will be a decision against a further glaciology mission. That would leave biomass against PREMIER. With the demise of Envisat and with it the SCIAMACHY and MIPAS sensors that supported atmospheric chemistry and meteorology, there may be a movement towards PREMIER. We’ll find out in May.

This entry was posted in Remote Sensing, SAR, Space Policy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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