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Antarctic Acquisition Station Availability (TF - O'Higgins)

20 December 2001

The next ERS-2 SAR Antarctic campaign at O'Higgins will take place during the following two periods: 15 JAN - 23 JAN 2002 and 16 FEB - 13 MAR 2002. Baseline planning for acquisition of ERS-2 SAR data has already been performed. For further details, please refer to the EOLI catalogue or next week's update of DESCW. Any additional planning should be requested as soon as possible.

ERS-2 swich off

22 November 2001

Due to a planned upgrade of the ERS-2 attitude software, all the payload will be switched off during orbits from 34530 (27-NOV-2001) to 34550 (28-NOV-2001). The upgraded version of the attitude software will permit to operate Coarse Modes using only one gyroscope, thus allowing a wider range of spacecraft manouvers.

Strong solar activity affects ERS yaw attitude

14 November 2001

As reported in the news of 24 October, strong solar activity was recently observed. Since ERS-2 is operating in gyroless mode (ZGM) since June 2001, the spacecraft attitude is unfortunately more sensitive to such events.

DESCW catalogue: version 4.34 released

09 November 2001

New features: ERS-2 visibility extended to March 2003, Landsat 7 visibility extended to December 2002, Landsat 7 planned scenes.

No ERS-2 acquisition during the Leonid Meteor Shower

07 November 2001

During the day of the 18th November 2001, the Earth passes through the debris trail of the Tempel-Tuttle comet. The passage of the Earth through the debris trail results in the so called Leonids Meteor Shower. Measures will be taken to position the ERS-2 satellite in a way to mitigate the risk of debris collision. As a consequence of the above no ERS-2 data will be acquired during the Leonid Meteor Shower. The ERS-2 payload will be switched-off around the estimated peak of the Shower, from 17-Nov-01 UTC 18:30 until 19-Nov-01 UTC 14:06. This period can slightly change and might be extended shortly before the storm if better predictions are available. The gap will be reflected in the ERS-2 data acquisition catalogues.

Strong solar activity impact on Earth Observation satellites

24 October 2001

Strong solar activity was reported as from Friday 19th October 2001. Its impact on polar Earth Observation satellites started on Sunday, 21st October 2001 around UTC 16:00 and is expected to last for 3-4 days. Since ERS-2 is operating in gyroless mode (ZGM) since June 2001, the spacecraft attitude is more sensitive to unpredicted, strong solar activity events.

ERS-2 in action

15 September 2001

The ERS-2 in Action Campaign started in September 2001 with the aim of promoting awareness of ERS-2 SAR healthy operational status world-wide. While awaiting the forthcoming availability of Envisat mission data, it was deemed useful to provide the user communities with a showcase of recent ERS-2 SAR acquisitions.

Decoding ERS Data from WMO FM BUFR format - version 5.03 released

10 September 2001

The new features of this software version are support for the new ATSR-2 ASST (UAT) products processed by the SADIST-2 software, limiting/scaling of the ATSR accross-track band number, with reduced resolution on decode, has been implemented to fit to new SADIST-2 processor specification and support for WMO/GTS RMDCN protocol.

ERS-2 operating without gyros exceeds expectations! ERS-2 Status August 2001

10 August 2001

The Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) was operating in Extra Back-up Mode (EBM) until the beginning of June, when the Zero Gyro Mode (ZGM) was loaded and activated on-board ERS-2. In this mode, measurement of the satellite pointing are achieved through payload data and the digital earth sensors.
The first commissioning and tuning of the ZGM lasted until end July, leading to an immediate improvement from +/- 10 degrees in EBM to an average of +/- 1.5 degrees pointing performance on the yaw axis.

Mount Etna eruption

26 July 2001

The eruption of Mount Etna in mid-July and its continuing activity have been tracked using ATSR, GOME, and SAR data from the ERS-2 satellite. Imagery and analyses of the data are presented in ERS monitors Mount Etna - July 2001.

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