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Swarm Alpha and Charlie: STR instruments set at 2 Hz rate from December 2018

15 March 2019

We would like to inform Swarm users that from 12 December 2018, at 13:34:56 UTC and 18 December 2018, at 12:43:30 UTC, the attitude information of the Star Tracker instruments on board the Swarm Alpha and Charlie satellites, respectively, are provided at 2 Hz rate, instead of the previous 1 Hz.

This change required an update in the Level 1b processing of the rotation angles from the three Camera Head Unit (CHU) reference frames to Star Tracker Common Reference Frame. This update was deployed into operations on 6 March 2019.

To benefit from this rotation update, all the Swarm Alpha L1B data from 12/12/2018 to 02/03/2019 and Swarm Charlie L1B data from 18/12/2018 to 02/03/2019 were regenerated and are now available on the Swarm FTP server with increased File Counter.

The effect of this update is a difference of no more than 2 nT in the B_NEC (North-Earth-Center frame) with respect to data available before the update.

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Glaciers lose nine trillion tonnes of ice in half a century

8 April 2019

When we think of climate change, one of the first things to come to mind is melting polar ice. However, ice loss isn't just restricted to the polar regions. According to research published today, glaciers around the world have lost well over 9000 gigatonnes (nine trillion tonnes) of ice since 1961.