The earth observation mission ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite) of the European Space Agency ESA evolved from the polar platform of the Columbus program. It is so far the largest European satellite in operation and has the goal of monitoring the entire Earth System (lithosphere - hydrosphere - atmosphere - cryosphere - biosphere). ENVISAT is equipped with ten instruments, including three atmosphere sensors. ENVISAT was launched into earth orbit from Kourou with an Ariane 5 rocket on March 1, 2002. Since this time it has successful completed over 35,000 orbits. Originally designed for a mission life of five years, the ENVISAT mission was extended to 2012. The end of the mission was being declared on May 09, 2012.

Tabelle: ENVISAT Mission Parameters
Dimensions 26 m × 10 m × 5 m
Total mass 8.2 t
Payload 2.05 t
Number of instruments 10
Launcher Ariane 5
Launch March 1, 2002
End May 9, 2012

Tabelle: ENVISAT Orbit Parameters
Semi-major axis 7159 km
Orbit altitude (mean) 800 km
Inclination angle 98.55°
Orbital period 100.6 min
Orbit polar, sun-synchronous
Overflight time 10 am
Orbits per day 14.31
Revisit 35 days

Dr.rer.nat. Manfred Gottwald
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Remote Sensing Technology Institute
, Atmospheric Processors
Tel: +49 8153 28-1591

Fax: +49 8153 28-1446

E-Mail: Manfred.Gottwald@dlr.de
URL for this article
Links zu diesem Artikel