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GMV helps to clear up unanswered Earth-observation questions

EarthCARE is an earth-observation mission being carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with Japan’s Space Agency (JAXA) and its National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT); it forms part of an initiative known as Earth Explorers, designed by ESA to address specific areas of public concern as identified by the science community within the field of earth sciences; each of these core missions centers its research on a different aspect of earth science. EarthCARE itself, slated for a 2018 launch, will study clouds, aerosols and their interaction with the sun’s radiation.

GMV has recently won contracts to carry out several important activities in relation to ESA’s Space Operations Centre (ESOC), including the setting up of the satellite control center, in charge of real-time command and telemetry processing, and also development of the operational simulator to be used for training of the operations team and validation of flight procedures. These new contract awards strengthen GMV’s position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of satellite control centers. In particular GMV has provided the control centers for the vast majority of ESA’s earth observation missions (GOCE, Cryosat-1/2, Swarm, Sentinel1,2,3 and 5p series) and of interplanetary missions like Bepi Colombo.

EarthCARE will provide global measurements of vertical atmospheric profiles to improve parametrization of clouds and aerosols in climate models and study their influence on the earth’s radiative balance. The main instrument, a broadband radiometer (BBR), will give instant readings of the outgoing reflected solar radiation and the emitted thermal radiation from Earth. These readings, using the right conversion models, can then be turned into measurements of the associated energy flux.

Under this same mission GMV has also been awarded the CLARA project (Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Assessment Products for EarthCARE), in which it will be responsible for scientific development and operational software of the mission’s radiation products. GMV in particular is leading development of BBR’s radiance-to-flux conversion algorithms.