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Possible Future Atmospheric Earth Explorer Missions

Joerg Langen(1)

(1) ESA-ESTEC, POB 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, Netherlands


Following 6 Earth Explorer missions which are currently in extended feasibility study or in implementation phases, ESA issued a call for ideas for new Earth Explorer core missions in 2005. In addition to the general Earth observation themes identified in the Science and Research Elements of ESA’s Living Planet Programme, this call focuses on 4 specific areas, namely the global water cycle, the global carbon cycle, atmospheric chemistry and its interaction with climate, and the human element. 24 responses to the call were received, 14 of them capitalised on atmospheric observations. These address various scientific issues, e.g. radiative and dynamical processes in the UTLS, air quality and the transport of pollutants in the troposphere, sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and aerosols, the evolution of the stratospheric ozone layer, the distribution of water vapour and its radiative effects, climate records of trace gases, cloud, temperature and precipitation patterns, and the impact of lightning on the abundances of nitrogen oxides. The proposals are undergoing review in scientific and technical panels. Recommendations on selection of proposals for pre-feasibility studies will be made by ESA’s Earth Science Advisory Committee.


Workshop presentation

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry