"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "


Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009


""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."


Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, October 07, 2005

Cold War - Hi Tech, combine for Global Warming evidence

The satellite survey by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), and the space agency NASA reveals that for the fourth consecutive year there has been "a stunning reduction" in Arctic sea ice at the end of the northern summer, placing species such as polar bears at risk. Daily Telegraph
Well up to a point Lord Copper.

CryoSat is a 3 year radar altimetry mission to determine variations in the thickness of the Earth’s continental ice sheets and marine ice cover.(it also looks like a flying 'fridge) CryoSat will carry a complex radar instrument called a Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL). This emits a broad radar beam which exploits a slight frequency shift across the beam to pick out signals reflected from features just 250 metres in diameter. At this resolution, CryoSat will offer a much more accurate overall picture of the ice and how it is changing.i.e it will measure every 250 metres not every 10 Killometres as previous devices.

CryoSat will therefore measure the thickness of the polar ice very accurately — said to be within a margin of just one centimetre. Positioning with a high degree of measuring accuracy, is therefore vital for the success of the mission – especially as previous NOAA temperature recording analysis has been subject to so much controversy and scrutiny.

ESA turned to the Danish company, Terma. Who have supplied 3 HE-5AS Star Trackers, which are essentially very special , compact, low power, digital cameras mounted directly on the SIRAL payload antenna bench of the CryoSat satellite, for optimized structural stability. They take a picture of the starry sky with a field of view of 22° x 22° a CCD 1024 x 1024 pixels — approx. 1 percent of the sky — and then match the patterns with a star catalogue. Thereby, the direction or attitude of the satellite can be determined with an accuracy above 1 arc second or 1/3600ยบ.

Each tiny camera is protected by a baffle to protect them from light from the Sun, Earth, and Moon. Furthermore as the satellite’s orbital position is not solar synchronous, i.e. it will be exposed to extreme heat and permanent shadow respectively for longer periods of time, the Star Trackers are equipped with small radiators and heating elements which can cool down and warm up the electronics.

Due for launch tomorrow (8/10/05) from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome, the 21st Century technological wizardry of CryoSat will sit on top of a Rockot launcher which combines a vintage Cold War,2 stage liquid fuelled ex ICBM SS-19 two-stage rocket plus Breeze-KM third stage to place the payload in orbit.

Bremen based Eurockot Launch Services is a joint venture between EADS Space (formerly Daimler Chrysler Aerospace) and Russia's Khrunichev rocket-makers, CryoSat will be their sixth such launch. Khrunichev have ten SS-19s in storage at their Moscow plant at any one time, which leaves around 150 still to be flown. Khrunichev in 1998-9 designed the wider-diameter Breeze-KM upper stage to satisfy the requirements of Iridium LLC, the Israeli corporation that established a 66-satellite constellation for worldwide telephone services.

All launches are performed by military personnel.

CryoSat will be their sixth such launch. Khrunichev have ten SS-19s in storage at their Moscow plant at any one time, which leaves around 150 still to be flown. Khrunichev in 1998-9 designed the wider-diameter Breeze-KM upper stage to satisfy the requirements of Iridium LLC, the Israeli corporation that established a 66-satellite constellation for worldwide telephone services. (the element Iridium has 66 electrons)

All launches are performed by military personnel, this their first for ESA.

After CryoSat, Eurockot plan launches for ESA's, Earth Explorer missions GOCE in 2006 (GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Mission) - provide the data set required to accurately determine global and regional models of the Earth's gravity field and the geoid. It will also advance research in the fields of steady-state ocean circulation, physics of the Earth's interior, geodesy and surveying, and sea-level change.)and SMOS in 2007 (SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) - will provide global observations of soil
moisture and ocean salinity to improve modelling of the weather and climate.It will also monitor vegetation water content, snow cover and ice structure.)ESA's technology demonstrator Proba-2 will probably be flying in 2008. The company hopes for further ESA launch contracts into the next decade, and additional launches for Japanese and Korean customers.

Recent blogs on same topic here

2 comments:

Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Sigh. Well, RIP Cyrosat.

Postman said...

£90 Mn into the ocean, or space, or Russia...nobody seems to be sure what happened.

Plesetsk we have a problem.

Well, keep the old Global warming arguments on the boil (?).

Bin looking for bridges over Euphrates on Google Earth without any luck... perhaps it's more up to date than we imagined ?

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish