The Envisat ground segment provides the means and resources to manage and control the mission, to receive and process the data produced by the instruments, and to disseminate and archive the generated products. Furthermore, it provides a single interface to the users to allow optimum utilization of the system resources in line with the user needs.
The ground segment can be split into two major elements:
The satellite-to-ground communication links rely on various ground stations (Kiruna, Fucino, Svallbard, and Villafranca - the latter as TT&C back-up) and the ESA data relay satellite system Artemis which will provide direct communication between Envisat and the ground even when the satellite is out of visibility of the ground stations. This will enable the use of high rate sensors whose data cannot be stored on board, more optimally managed tape dumps, and enhanced visibility for command and control. Additional national and ESA ground stations will be involved.
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