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ENVISAT Status and Future – The ESA ENVISAT 2010+ Project

Sergio Vazzana(1), Miguel Canela(2), Yves-Louis Desnos(1), Frank Diekmann(3), Eric Doyle(1), Berthyl Duesmann(2), Thorsten Fehr(1), Henri Laur(1), Daniel Mesples(3), Pierre Vogel(2) and ENVISAT 2010+ Team(4)

(1) ESA, Via Galileo Galilei, 00044 Frascati, Italy
(2) ESA, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, Netherlands
(3) ESA, Robert-Bosch-Strasse 5, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
(4) ESA, , ,

Abstract

ESA’s biggest Earth observation satellite, ENVISAT, has been launched seven years ago and is now well beyond its specified lifetime. Nevertheless, the platform and its instruments are, with few limitations, fully operational. However, if the satellite operation remains unchanged, the mission would terminate early 2011 due to lack of propellant. In order to provide to the science community and operational services ENVISAT data in the future, ESA is preparing a strategy to retain a high level of exploitation capability for the overall payload for the period beyond 2010. All these activities are coordinated in the ESA internal project “ENVISAT 2010+” with the objectives to extend the ENVISAT mission lifetime until end 2013, minimizing the ground and flight segment impact, maximizing the instrument data compatibility, as well as to prepare for the end of the mission (Phase F). It is foreseen that these activities will be carried out with minimum disturbance in the service to the data users. A major change planned in 2010 is the modification of the ENVISAT orbit, operating at a lower altitude and with a new control strategy. The preparation work is performed by the various communities, i.e. satellite operators, data users, platform and instrument designers. This paper will provide in-depth information on the current ENVISAT status as well as on the activities planned in the frame of the mission extension and its potential impact on data quality. The impact on the atmospheric chemistry instruments (SCIAMACHY, MIPAS and GOMOS) will be described in more detail.