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Success Stories

Read articles about the successes of ESA's mission programmes and applications of the data obtained by the satellites.

  • News - Success Stories

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    6 July 2022

    WorldView-3 helps to track offshore methane plumes from oil and gas

    Scientists have used Earth observation data to reveal enormous methane plumes spilling out from an offshore oil and gas production rig in the Gulf of Mexico. This represents a significant breakthrough in the monitoring of industrial methane emissions from space.

  • News - Success Stories

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    24 Mar 2021

    Water mission takes on space weather

    Adding to SMOS’ list of talents, new findings show that what was considered noise in the mission’s data can actually be used to monitor solar activity and space weather, which can damage communication and navigation systems.

  • News - Success Stories

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    17 May 2022

    Vision-1 to enable cutting-edge science and spur innovation

    Vision-1 – which is the result of a collaboration between Airbus Defence and Space and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) – provides sub-metric imagery to support activities across many industries, including urban planning, agricultural monitoring, land classification, natural resource management and disaster monitoring.

  • News - Success Stories

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    25 Aug 2022

    Tracking mountainous glaciers using TanDEM-X

    Ice melting from mountain glaciers is one of the largest contributors to sea-level rise outside the large ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland. New research leveraging the vast data from the TanDEM-X mission, has successfully mapped glacial elevation change over multiple mountainous regions of the world.

  • News - Success Stories

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    30 Aug 2023

    Synergy of space data helps modernise irrigation systems

    The growing demands on agriculture, coupled with the climate crisis, are pressurising Earth’s valuable freshwater resources and making assessment of water practices ever more important.

  • News - Success Stories

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    16 Dec 2021

    Swarm’s orbital dance: counter-rotating and closer, for the benefit of science

    Since variations in Earth’s magnetic field directly reflect the flow of fluid in the outermost core, new information from Swarm will further our understanding of the physics and dynamics of Earth's stormy heart—and the satellites are recently flying in a counter-rotating phase and closer in their separation, to enable scientists to discover new elements.

  • News - Success Stories

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    23 May 2022

    Swarm unveils magnetic waves deep down

    Using information from ESA’s Swarm satellite mission, scientists have discovered a completely new type of magnetic wave that sweeps across the outermost part of Earth’s outer core every seven years.

  • News - Success Stories

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    20 Oct 2022

    Swarm data help estimate the impact of space weather

    Energy from space weather mostly deposits itself as heat in the upper atmosphere, posing risks to satellites orbiting in the same altitude.

  • News - Success Stories

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    2 July 2019

    Surviving the shaker brings better weather forecasting a step closer

    Meteosat Third Generation will soon take over the reins from Meteosat Second Generation series, providing critical data for weather forecasting.

  • News - Success Stories

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    25 Sept 2018

    Spotlight on sea-level rise

    Scientists to share findings on how satellite has revealed changes in the height of the sea, ice, inland bodies of water and more.

  • News - Success Stories

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    11 Sept 2018

    Special CryoSat issue in Advances in Space Research journal

    A special issue of the Advances in Space Research journal dedicated to CryoSat is available to download.

  • News - Success Stories

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    14 Feb 2023

    Space data unearths small-scale mining in Burkina Faso

    Satellite data from ESA’s Pléiades Third Party Mission and Copernicus Sentinel-2 were used to demonstrate that deep learning models can accurately and inexpensively identify artisanal and small-scale mining, even in challenging semi-desertic environments.

  • News - Success Stories

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    24 May 2023

    SMOS data reveal ecosystems' resistance to drought

    Climate change is rapidly altering the world’s ecosystems, causing extreme weather conditions, such as droughts, to become increasingly frequent. Understanding the factors that contribute to ecosystem resilience to extreme events is vital to develop more effective strategies for climate adaptation and mitigation.

  • News - Success Stories

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    3 Nov 2022

    SMOS data improve estimates of rainfall in Africa

    Scientists have used soil moisture data from ESA’s SMOS mission to correct high-resolution satellite-based estimates of precipitation in Africa.

  • News - Success Stories

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    13 Dec 2021

    Ship trails in the Bay of Biscay observed using PROBA-V imagery

    Ship trails have been perceived as convincing evidence of aerosol-cloud interaction. Ship emissions have been proven to contribute by about 1.9% and 2.9% to the increase in the global total and fine-mode aerosol optical thickness (AOT) respectively over a five year period (Peters et al. 20212).

  • News - Success Stories

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    16 Sept 2022

    Satellites track the health of the ozone layer

    ESA’s Earth observation activities are contributing to international efforts to monitor and preserve the layer of stratospheric ozone that blankets the planet.

  • News - Success Stories

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    7 Sept 2022

    Satellite data predicts lower wheat crop yield

    In a market pressed with short supply of grain the dry spring weather of 2022 was devastating for European wheat production, according to a new drought monitor that draws on data from ESA’s SMOS Earth observation mission

  • News - Success Stories

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    9 Aug 2018

    Satellite data allows real-time detection of potential fires

    A pilot Fire Detection Service, based on real-time processing of Landsat-8 data being assessed within the framework of ESA's Earthnet Programme.

  • News - Success Stories

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    11 Feb 2022

    SAOCOM the Argentinean constellation with an Italian twist

    Composed of two satellites launched in 2018 and 2019 respectively, the SAOCOM satellite mission, managed and operated by Argentina's Space Agency, CONAE, covers an array of applications that greatly benefit Earth observation and disaster monitoring.

  • News - Success Stories

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    4 Oct 2022

    Remote sensing scientists raise alarm for African savannah

    Researchers have used high resolution WorldView-3 imagery to map vegetation cover in the Greater Maasai Mara savannah, a global hotspot for biodiversity in Kenya.