Italian COSMO-SkyMed satellite launched to study worldís weather

The COSMO-SkyMed 1 satellite was launched from a Boeing Delta II 7420-10 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the coast of California. It lifted off at 7:34 p.m. PDT (22:34 GMT). The Italian satellite will be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit. Once operational the first satellite is expected to send scientists about 1,800 images each day.

A sun-synchronous orbit is a type of geocentric orbit (about the Earth) that combines altitude and inclination so that the orbiting craft passes above any given point on the Earthís surface at the same time with respect to the Sun.

All four satellites will carry a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor (a radar imager) that will allow the orbiting probes to collectively gather information on the worldís weather and climate including earthquakes and seismic analysis, landslides, droughts, agricultural mapping, environmental disaster monitoring, and floods.

The images downloaded from the satellite system will also be used for the defense and security of Italy and other neighboring countries.

COSMO-SkyMed 2 is scheduled to be launched in the first three months of 2008. Each satellite will be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit and each positioned 90 degrees apart at an altitude of 619 kilometers (385 miles).

The Italian Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Research funded the system, while the Italian Space Agency (ASI) operates it. Additional information about the COSMO-SkyMed satellite system is found at ESA.

Author: EARSC

This website uses cookies to collect analytical data to enhance your browsing experience. Please accept our cookies or read our Privacy policy.