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INSTRUMENTS

Explore the many instruments the European Space Agency use to observe the Earth. ESA offer data from a wide range of optical, radar, atmospheric, altimetric and gravimetric instrumentation.

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  • Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    ATSR

    The Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) on board ERS-1 and ERS-2 mission consisted of two instruments, an Infra-Red Radiometer and a Microwave Sounder.

  • Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    PRARE

    The Precise Range And Range-Rate Equipment (PRARE) was a microwave tracking system on board the ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions.

  • Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    LRR ERS

    The Laser Retro-Reflector (LRR), on board the ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions, was an optical device for accurate satellite tracking from the ground to support instrument data evaluation.

  • Instrument - Imaging Radars, Scatterometers

    Instrument - Imaging Radars, Scatterometers

    SAR (ERS)

    The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument aboard ERS-1 and ERS-2 was capable of high precision change detection of surface heights.

  • Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    MWR (ERS)

    The microwave radiometer (MWR) instrument on board the ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions provided measurements of the integrated atmospheric water vapour column and cloud liquid water content.

  • Instrument - Scatterometers

    Instrument - Scatterometers

    WS

    The Wind Scatterometer (WS) instrument, on board the ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions, obtained information on wind speed and direction over the sea surface.

  • Instrument - Altimeters

    Instrument - Altimeters

    RA (ERS)

    The Radar Altimeter (RA) was a Ku-band (13.8 GHz) nadir-pointing active microwave sensor, on board ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions, designed to measure echoes from ocean and ice surfaces.

  • Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    Thematic Mapper (TM)

    The Thematic Mapper (TM) was a multispectral scanning radiometer on Landsat 4 and Landsat 5.

  • Instrument - Radar Spectrometers

    Instrument - Radar Spectrometers

    Return-Beam Vidicon (RBV)

    The Return-Beam Vidicon (RBV) instrument was flown on board the Landsat 1 to 3 satellites.

  • Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS)

    The Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS) instrument was carried aboard the Landsat 1 to 5 satellites.

  • Instrument - Spectrometers

    Instrument - Spectrometers

    Vegetation (VGT)

    The main PROBA-V payload is the Vegetation sensor (VGT): a multispectral pushbroom spectrometer.

  • Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    LRR (Envisat)

    The LRR instrument aboard Envisat was used to accurately determine the orbital height of the satellite.

  • Instrument - Magnetic Field/Electric Field Instruments

    Instrument - Magnetic Field/Electric Field Instruments

    STR (Swarm)

    The Swarm Star Trackers retrieve information on the precise satellite orientation and attitude.

  • Instrument - Magnetic Field/Electric Field Instruments

    Instrument - Magnetic Field/Electric Field Instruments

    ACC (Swarm)

    The Accelerometer measures the Swarm satellite’s non-gravitational acceleration in its respective orbit.

  • Instrument - Magnetic Field/Electric Field Instruments

    Instrument - Magnetic Field/Electric Field Instruments

    GPSR and LRR (Swarm)

    Each Swarm satellite is equipped with a Laser Retroreflector for external calibration and validation of the on-board GPS receiver.

  • Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    DORIS

    DORIS was used to determine the precise location of Envisat in orbit.

  • Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    Instrument - Positioning/Navigation

    SSTI

    SSTI was a state-of-the-art GPS receiver on GOCE that was designed to operate in a low-Earth orbit.

  • Instrument - Thermal/Radiation Detectors

    Instrument - Thermal/Radiation Detectors

    Thermal Infra-Red Scanner (TIRS)

    TIRS on Landsat 8 is a thermal imager that supplements observations from the OLI instrument.

  • Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    Instrument - Spectrometers/Radiometers

    SCIAMACHY

    SCIAMACHY was an instrument aboard the Envisat satellite that measured atmospheric chemistry.

  • Instrument - Altimeters

    Instrument - Altimeters

    RA-2

    The RA-2 instrument aboard Envisat acquired radar altimetry data over ocean, land and ice surfaces.