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SCIAMACHY - Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography

SCIAMACHY comprises a high resolution (0.2-0.4nm) spectrometer to observe transmitted, reflected and scattered light from the atmosphere in the UV, visible and near infrared wavelength regions covering the range 240 – 1750nm, and in 2 selected regions between 1.9 and 2.4µm. SCIAMACHY was designed to measure both tropospheric and stratospheric abundances of a number of atmospheric constituents, which take part in ozone destruction or in the greenhouse effect. The SCIAMACHY instrument was part of ESA’s Envisat satellite which was successfully flown.

OIP, as a subcontractor to ESA, was involved in the C/D phase of the SCIAMACHY project and was in charge of the opto-electronic modules inside the Optical Assembly for polarization measurements and calibration during flight.
The project is funded by ESA/PRODEX.

Wavelength range: 240 – 1750nm + 1900nm and 2400nm.

Instrument

OIP was involved in the large-scale SCIAMACHY project and was in charge of the optoelectronic modules as part of the Optical Assembly for polarisation measurements and observations of the Sun (“Sun Follower”) during the flight.

This was OIP’s first encouter with a big ESA mission and a development that unlocked the doors to many projects and participations to come.

 

Keywords

Solution: Satellite spectrometer (sub assy)

Type: Multispectral

Application field: Atmospheric Cartography

Mission: Envisat

Life: Launched in 2002 – mission ended in 2012

SCIAMACHY

SCIAMACHY (SCanning Imaging Absorption SpectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY) was one of ten instruments aboard of ESA’s ENVIronmental SATellite or Envisat. It was a satellite spectrometer designed to measure sunlight, transmitted, reflected and scattered by the earth’s atmosphere or surface in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared wavelength region region (240 nm – 2380 nm) at moderate spectral resolution (0.2 nm – 1.5 nm). 

SCIAMACHY was conceived to improve global knowledge and understanding of a variety of issues of importance for the chemistry and physics of the Earth’s atmosphere (tropsphere, stratosphere and mesosphere) and potential changes resulting from either anthropogenic behavior or natural phenomena.

Atmospheric Cartography

The absorption, reflection and scattering characteristics of the atmosphere were determined by measuring the extraterrestrial solar irradiance and the upwelling radiance observed in different viewing geometries. The ratio of extraterrestrial irradiance and the upwelling radiance can be inverted to provide information about the amounts and distribution of important atmospheric constituents, which absorb or scatter light, and the spectral reflectance (or albedo) of the Earth’s surface.

 

Mission

Envisat was launched as an Earth Observation satellite. Its objective was to service the continuity of European Remote Sensing satellite missions, providing additional observational parameters to improve environmental studies. Operated by the ESA, it was the world’s largest civilian Earth observation satellite. Envisat carried an array of nine Earth-observation instruments that gathered information about the Earth (land, water, ice and atmosphere) using a variety of measurement principles.

In working towards the global and regional objectives of the mission, numerous scientific disciplines currently use the data acquired from the different sensors on the satellite to study such things as atmospheric chemistryozone depletionbiological oceanography, ocean temperature and colour, wind waveshydrology (humidityfloods), agriculture and arboriculture, natural hazards, monitoring of maritime traffic, atmospheric dispersion modelling (pollution), cartography and study of snow and ice.

OIP’s Participation

OIP, as a subcontractor to ESA, was involved in the C/D phase of the SCIAMACHY project and was in charge of the opto-electronic modules inside the Optical Assembly for polarization measurements and calibration during flight.

Status

The Envisat satellite was launched on 1 March 2002 aboard an Ariane 5 from the Guyana Space Centre in Kourou, French-Guiana, into a Sun Synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 790 km.  After losing contact with the satellite on 8 April 2012, ESA formally announced the end of Envisat’s mission on 9 May 2012.

The SCIAMACHY instrument, onboard Envisat, has been producing flawlessly scientific data during it’s operational life time.

Partners

SCIAMACHY was built by Netherlands and Germany at TNO/TPD, SRON and Dutch Space.

OIP, as a subcontractor to ESA, was involved in the C/D phase of the SCIAMACHY project and was in charge of the opto-electronic modules inside the Optical Assembly for polarization measurements and calibration during flight.

The project is funded by ESA/PRODEX.

 

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