The new awareness of the environmental and climactic changes that may be overtaking our entire planet has considerably increased the scientific interest for the analysis and understanding often complex interaction between the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, polar, and land surfaces. The perspective of global observation by satellite has fostered the development of a number of space-based remote sensing techniques. With its two ERS satellites, ESA has played a key role in the development of these techniques for a wide range of science- and application-oriented observations.
In 1988, an overall strategy for Earth observation was presented to the ESA member states. A series of complementary polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites were proposed to study the Earth's environment and resources, to continue and improve the meteorological observations. Based on this scenario, two ESA councils at ministerial level, held in Munich in November 1991 and Granada in November 1992, established the programme composed of two missions: The Envisat-1 mission and the METOP-1 mission preparatory programme.
While METOP-1 is primarily an operations meteorological satellite, Envisat-1 is a satellite dedicated to the study of the earth and atmosphere environment. With its launch planned by May 2000, Envisat-1 is a multidisciplinary mission having science and application objectives, continuing and extending the ERS-1 and ERS-2 mission objectives, and building up a coherent European Earth observation programme.
This provided information is split up in four categories:
& SYSTEM: a description of the Envisat-1 mission objectives and
system design concept;
INSTRUMENTS: a description of each instrument found in the payload;
DATA PRODUCTS: an expanation of the data products.
|For actual and more detailed information
on any of these elements, please visit our Envisat-1 website