ESA – Harmony in the Wadden

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31/03/2022
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Significant to the development of ESA’s tenth Earth Explorer satellite mission, Harmony, it was accomplished due to two planes flying over the Dutch Wadden Islands collecting critical data. about state and tides. The main purpose of this complex aerial experiment is to compare the geometry in which Harmony satellites measure different types of ocean dynamics in order to understand how the air interacts. and the surface of the oceans, in turn, to improve climate forecasting and modeling.

The Harmony candidate mission is going through the final stages of evaluation as an Earth Explorer 10 mission. A user conference will be held on July 5, 2022, after which the decision will be made. the implementation of the mission in September.

Founded within ESA’s FutureEO project, Earth Explorers is embarking on research missions that show how new technologies can guide new scientific knowledge about our planet. Advancing in science and technology, they raise questions directly related to social issues such as access to food, water, energy and resources, public health and the changing the climate.

Harmony

Harmony plans to have two different satellites surrounding the convoy with a Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar. Each Harmony satellite is designed to carry a synthetic aperture radar available only on its main device.

On the ground, Harmony provides data measuring small changes in the surface of the earth’s crust, such as those from earthquakes and volcanic activity, and therefore helps it’s when looking at the problem. It provides new information for studying the 3D deformation and flow of glaciers in rapidly changing ice sheets to better understand how ice is lost. the rising of the sea.

Overseas, Harmony offers a wide range of wind, tides and temperatures, and ocean waves – and the flight test in the Wadden Islands is focused on the project. of Harmony in this.

Harmony’s Principal Investigator, Paco López-Dekker, from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, explained, “One of the biggest problems in comparing climate and climate is that we need to calculate processes from submeter scales to earth scales, with life, from seconds to months, or even years.

WaddenSAR aircraft announcement

“Processes are integrated at different scales. The nature of the earth and the atmosphere and climate cannot be understood without counting, for example, changes in temperature, weather and gases in the atmosphere, It is the result of small currents such as atmospheric boundary-layer turbulence, upper. ocean signs and faces and ocean waves.

“Because it’s not possible to compare the number of scales numerically, we rely on simple models because it’s done on small scales, not determined. Development and improvement. These small features are highly reliant on visuals – which is where Harmony comes into play.

Björn Rommen of ESA added, “Harmony is designed to provide upstream wind intensity, surface currents, ocean waves, and sea temperature data on the same scale. Or by looking at the ocean surface at the same time from different angles with satellites’ collocated radar and thermal imaging systems.

“This was done beautifully by recording one Harmony satellite a few hundred kilometers ahead of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite and the other Harmony satellite behind Sentinel-1, which which we call a multi-static configuration.

WaddenSAR is the air player

“The experiment, WaddenSAR, on the Wadden Islands in the Netherlands is important to help validate our understanding because the radar is measuring.”

The most important, but difficult, part was to fly two planes in the correct position, one kilometer apart, to simulate the geometry of the Harmony mission in collecting data about the era of sea ​​level and sea level.

ESA Campaign Scientist Julia Kubanek said, “We chose the Wadden Sea because of the strong currents and winds. While the wind may not be the best friend for the pilot, we need to Fortunately, the skies were on our side and we finished all the planes and gathered the information we needed.

“Each aircraft carried a C-band synthetic aperture radar. To simulate the transmission-found in the configuration between Sentinel-1 and Harmony, any of the aircraft’s instruments could emit and radar signals are found on the surface of the ocean, and are only a source of entertainment.

“All in all, we won the promotion. For example, we flew for five hours on one of the best days, challenging some big goals like the ferry to taking an observer and an office to measure the ocean currents.

The WaddenSAR advertising company

“We’re looking at all of this data but we’re confident the results will be applied to ESA’s Harmony mission.”

On behalf of ESA, the announcement was made by MetaSensing Radar Solutions, with support from Deltares, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and the Texel Paracentrum.

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