Minimize Swarm Mission Overview


Copyright: ESA/ATG Medialab

Swarm is ESA's first constellation mission for Earth Observation (EO). This mission is operated by ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), in Germany, via the primary ground station in Kiruna, Sweden. This mission consists of the three identical Swarm satellites (A, B, and C), which were launched on 22 November 2013 into a near-polar orbit.

The final constellation of the mission was achieved on 17 April 2014 (more detailed information). Swarm A and C form the lower pair of satellites flying side-by-side (1.4° separation in longitude) at an altitude of about 470 km (inclination angle is equal to 87.35°), whereas Swarm B is cruising at higher orbit of about 520 km (inclination angle is equal to 87.75°).

All Swarm satellites are equipped with a set of six identical instruments (more detailed information): Absolute Scalar Magnetometer (ASM), Vector Field Magnetometer (VFM), Star Tracker (STR), Electric Field Instrument (EFI), GPS Receiver (GPSR), and Accelerometer (ACC).