SWOT mission prepares to explore Earth’s water resources

(ORDO NEWS) — The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite was launched into Earth orbit on Dec.16 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in central California.

Engineers are preparing the mission to measure the height of water on more than 90% of the Earth’s surface.

Satellite control is carried out using telemetry data. The spacecraft is also equipped with four cameras to record what is happening.

The solar arrays fully deployed shortly after launch, which took about 10 minutes. The antennas were successfully deployed within four days. This process was completed on December 22.

Two cameras focused on the KaRIn antennas captured the mast protruding from the spacecraft, but failed to capture the fully deployed antennas (a milestone that the team confirmed with telemetry data).

At a distance of 10 meters from each other, at the ends of the mast, there are two antennas of the KaRIn device.

The instrument was designed to provide accurate measurements of water heights in Earth’s freshwater bodies and oceans.

KaRIn will see whirlpools, currents and other features of the ocean. It will also collect data on lakes and reservoirs over 62,500 square meters and rivers over 100 meters across.

The data provided by SWOT will be used by scientists and environmentalists to address the pressing climate issues of our time.


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