The Surface Waters and Oceans (SWOT) satellite launched into Earth orbit Friday, December 16, from Vandenberg Space Force Base in central California. accuracy of our planet’s water for the first time.
But before it can do that, the satellite will need to open its large mast and antenna panels (see above) after the solar panel arrays powering the spacecraft are successfully deployed. The mission monitors and controls the satellite using telemetry data, but has also equipped the spacecraft with four commercial motion-recording cameras.
The solar arrays fully deployed shortly after launch, taking about 10 minutes.
The antennas were successfully deployed over four days, a process that was completed on December 22nd. The two cameras focused on the KaRIn antennas picked up the mast extending from the spacecraft and locked it in place but stopped capturing the antennas being fully deployed (a milestone confirmed by the team with telemetry data.)
Thirty-three feet (10 meters) away, at either end of the mast, the two antennas belong to the leading Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument. Designed to capture accurate measurements of the height of water in freshwater bodies on land and the ocean, KaRIn will see eddies, currents and other ocean features less than 13 miles (20 kilometers) wide. It will also collect data on lakes and reservoirs larger than 15 acres (62,500 square meters) and rivers over 330 feet (100 meters) wide.
KaRIn will do this by bouncing radar pulses off the surface of the water on Earth and receiving the signals with those two antennas, collecting data along a 30-mile-wide (50-kilometer) swath on either side of the satellite.
The data provided by SWOT will help researchers and decision-makers address some of the most pressing climate questions of our time and help societies prepare for a warming world.
Provided by JPL
the quote: Watch the latest water satellite unfold in space (2022, December 29) Retrieved December 30, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-12-latest-satellite-unfold-space.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.
#Watch #newest #water #satellite #unfold #space