Minimize SAR

The SAR menu to your right provides information concerning the SPPA activities for this instrument.  


Brief descriptions of the instrument, its operations and main mission highlights are available in the sections below:

  Sensor Description   |    Sensor Modes   |   Mission Operations Overview    

Minimize Sensor Description

ERS-2 was launched in April 1995 with its primary instruments being an Active Microwave Instrument (AMI), a Radar Altimeter (RA), an Along-Track Scanning Radiometer and a Microwave Sounder (ATSR-2), and a Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) sensor . The AMI instrument was comprised of two separate radars - a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and a Wind Scatterometer. These systems enabled three modes of operation - Image Mode, Wave Mode (both performed by the SAR) and Wind Mode (performed by the Wind Scatterometer).

The last SAR data were acquired on 04 July 2011 and the ERS-2 mission was retired on 05 September 2011. Full details of the ERS-2 mission can be found here.


ERS-2 (solar panel to the left of the platform, SAR and wind scatterometer to the right of the platform). Learn more about the ERS-2 spacecraft and sensors here.


Full details of the ERS-2 acquisition plan and the various modes of operation are provided hereThe standard operational mode provided a 35 day repeat orbit. Special modes include the tandem mode (joint interferometric modes with ERS-2 SAR and ENVISAT ASAR and a 3 day repeat cycle at the end of the Mission). Tandem operation with ENVISAT occurred for:

  • 1st tandem mission – 09/2007 to 02/2008
  • 2nd tandem mission – 11/2008 to 04/2009
  • 3rd tandem mission – 02/2010 to 04/2010
  • 4th tandem mission – July to October 2010.

The high-level operational plan describes in more detail the various operational phases of ERS-2. The ERS-2 SAR Image Mode acquisitions can be downloaded from the ESA Online Dissemination service here).