Earth Observation with CHAMP by Christoph Reigber download in iPad, ePub, pdf
The polar location of Svalbard makes it possible to have access to the data on almost all orbits. The station offers a downlink on virtually every orbit thus providing inputs for the generation of atmospheric quicklook data products. Once started, it operates fully autonomously.
The measurements are weighted, averaged, and extrapolated to steady-state equilibrium temperatures. The orbit is near polar but non sun-synchronous. An algorithm derives overall heat flux based on the input temperatures and corrects for albedo. The hardware configuration permits to take temperature measurements driven by the Earth and sun illumination.
The BlackJack aft antennas are used for limb sounding. Thermistors serve as detectors.
The satellite was built by the German space industry with the intent to foster high-tech capabilities especially in the East-German space industry. This attitude is considered to be more stable in view of an increasingly denser atmospheric environment during the approaching orbital decay phase.
Further operational funding was granted until the end of the mission. Passive thermal control is provided by paints and multi-layer insulation. After this event, the operational phase of the mission is expected to end in the spring of due to the natural orbital decay.
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