earth online
  • News
  • Swarm Alpha and Charlie orbit ...

Swarm Alpha and Charlie orbit raise campaign starting on 26 April 2023 - Potential impact on data quality

26 Apr 2023

The evolution of Solar Cycle #25 and its effects on the orbit of Swarm has started to increase, considering how active the Sun has been between the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023.

For this reason, Phase 2 of the Swarm orbit raise campaign has begun.

The orbital raise is envisaged in multiple steps, with the first one starting on 26 April 2023 and lasting until 7 June 2023, according to the current planning.

The manoeuvres will raise the altitude of Swarm Alpha and Charlie by about 29 km.

In this 7-week period, up to two manoeuvres per spacecraft will be performed per week, each lasting for up to two full revolutions, for a total of 9 manoeuvres on Alpha and 6 manoeuvres on Charlie. During these periods, attitude errors may affect the quality of Swarm L1b and L2 data.

A substantial increase of Swarm Alpha and Charlie along track separation during the entire interval could result in degraded quality of a number of L1b and L2 Swarm data products. For the same reason, no FAC Alpha-Charlie combined data will be available for the period corresponding to the orbit raise.

The Swarm data quality team will monitor these issues and provide further details in the upcoming weeks.