European satellite Sentinel-1B has problems in orbit

(ORDO NEWS) — One of the most powerful Earth observation satellites in orbit is having serious problems.

The Sentinel-1B radar satellite, part of the Earth observation program, has not transmitted any data home since the anomaly occurred on December 23, and the problem appears to be relatively serious.

“Following the previous news of the Sentinel-1B anomaly on December 23, 2021, the resumption of operations has been carefully prepared, including onboard configuration changes to prevent the anomaly from recurring,” Copernicus team members wrote on January 10.

“However, as the recovery operations were being prepared, it became clear that the initial anomaly was due to a potential serious problem with the Sentinel-1B power system block,” they added.

“Operations in recent days have not yet enabled the power-up function required for the radar to operate. Further investigations to identify and eliminate the root cause will be carried out over the next days.”

Sentinel-1B was launched into orbit in April 2016, two years after its twin, Sentinel-1A. Together, the two satellites provide continuous, high-resolution radar mapping of the Earth.

Each satellite is expected to collect data for at least seven years, and each has enough fuel on board to operate for 12 years.


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