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Cryosat - Satellite for Global Ice Monitoring: the Spacecraft
- Title Cryosat - Satellite for Global Ice Monitoring: the Spacecraft
- Released 02/09/2005
- Language English
- Footage Type
Cryosat - ESA's satellite for global ice monitoring
Are the polar caps melting or not? When watching these images, the answer to this question looks quite easy, but until now, no accurate and reliable data of the variation of ice masses is available for the Arctic sea ice and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Since ice plays such an important role in the regulation of the Earth's global climate and sea-level change, it is crucial to know about any change in the thickness of marine and continental ice cover
During its three year lifetime, ESA's CryoSat satellite will shed light on of the most important impacts of climate change on our planet.
With a mass of 700 kilograms, CryoSat is a relatively small but very sophisticated satellite.
The SIRAL radar altimeter is the key instrument to be carried on the CryoSat mission. Its design is based on existing radar altimeters but ESA had to develop a number of sophisticated enhancements to overcome the challenges of measuring two different k