New satellite launch for Europe's Earth monitoring system

2017-03-03 22:00
An Arianespace satellite launched from French Guiana last year. (File, AFP)

An Arianespace satellite launched from French Guiana last year. (File, AFP)

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Paris - Europe is set to launch a fourth satellite on Tuesday for its ambitious Copernicus Earth monitoring project to track changing land cover and pollution, says launch firm Arianespace.

Dubbed Sentinel-2B, the satellite will blast off on a Vega rocket from Europe's space port in Kourou, French Guiana.

"The Sentinel-SB Earth observation satellite primarily focuses on monitoring land masses and coastal zones around the world," Arianespace said in a statement.

Its data will be used to monitor changes in forest cover and pollution in lakes and coastal waters, for example.

The orbiter will be positioned directly opposite Sentinel-2A, launched in June 2015.

Cloud-penetrating radar

"The pair of Sentinel-2 satellites will cover the Earth's entire surface in five days," said Arianespace, which launches satellites for the European Commission and European Space Agency.

"This high frequency means they will capture brand-new views of the Earth, driving considerable progress in monitoring and predicting changes in vegetation and aquatic pollution."

Sentinel-1A was launched in April 2014 and Sentinel-1B two years later. They are equipped with special cloud-penetrating radar with which to monitor Earth's surface by day and by night, regardless of the weather.

Read more on:    france

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