Sentinel-6 will be in charge of monitoring sea levels in 95% of the ocean , in addition to providing atmospheric information for better climate models
The level of the oceans is rising inexorably with climate change and we have more and more data and evidence that there are even populations threatened by it . Hence, the study of this growth is increasingly important and that it is done from space, from now on with more attention with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite .
This mission is part of the European Union's Copernicus Observation Program. Specifically, Sentinel-6 will be in charge of monitoring sea levels in 95% of the ocean , in addition to providing atmospheric information to be able to make better climate models.
A more advanced sentinel to accurately see how the oceans grow
Last Saturday at 17:17 UTC a Falcon 9 rocket lifted this charge into space, which has a curious "little house" shape and that we saw being ejected into space from the same rocket on November 21. It was also the hundredth mission of Falcon 9, as noted in Naukas (and the 66th time parts of it were recovered).
— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) November 21, 2020
As NASA explains , Sentinel 6 Michael Freilich is named after the now-defunct director of the Earth Sciences Division of the North American Space Agency, who spearheaded the observations from space that have been made from it. According to Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA's Earth Observation Programs, he was key to promoting the study of the oceans in relation to climate change at a global level since "the rise in sea level knows no borders".
The peculiar design of Sentinel 6 is due to the specificity of its mission, specifically due to having to constantly point towards the Earth part of its instruments. The "gabled roof" is formed by the solar panels, which are not in two arms at the sides as we usually see, and from their location at an orbit of 1,336 kilometers in height and 66 degrees of inclination, you can measure the sea level in 95% of it every ten days.
For this mission Sentinel 6 will use the built-in synthetic aperture altimeter radar , Poseidon 4 (built by ESA). This instrument will measure altitude using two frequencies, so that interference caused by the Earth's ionosphere can be corrected.
The ionosphere is not the only one in our atmosphere that makes this study difficult, there is also water vapor. That is why it also incorporates a microwave radiometer ( Advanced Microwave Radiometer – Climate Quality , AMR-C) to save measurements of the delay that steam would suppose in the pulses of the radar, and which represents one of the main improvements over satellites. previous with the laser retroreflector (LRA to try to correct the uncertainty in the position of Sentinel 6).
Although it may seem like a house from a story, this satellite is not small and weighs 1,192. It has the capacity to store up to 496 Gbits of data and will be able to transmit about 1,200 Gbits per day for (an estimated) seven years.
Know better the damage we have done (and are doing)
We believe that climate change is not a matter of the future , but rather it is something very present. It is causing an increasingly accelerated and evident thaw , and as we already said [when talking about what extreme weather events look like from space the idea with these missions is to contribute to anticipating as far as possible what is to come with the predictions and that these become more and more exact .
Companies from different countries and continents have participated in this mission, from Airbus for construction to the European and American space agencies, as well as the NOAA ( National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ). In about five years, by 2025 the EU hopes to be able to launch a twin of Sentinel 6 , hence this first satellite is known as Sentinel 6A and the next one is Sentinel 6B.