SWOT Solar Panels Deploy at Thales Alenia Space Facility in France
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Workers in a clean room in Cannes, France, load the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite into a container in preparation for shipping the spacecraft to the U.S. SWOT is an international mission led by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) that will survey water on more than 90&percnt of Earth's surface.
The spacecraft will view water in Earth's lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and the ocean in higher definition than ever before. The information that SWOT gathers will help inform water management decisions and prepare communities for rising seas and changing coastlines. It will also help researchers better understand the exchange of heat and carbon between the ocean and atmosphere, an important component of the role that Earth's ocean plays in the planet's climate.
SWOT will launch out of the Vandenberg Space Force Base in central California no earlier than Dec. 5, 2022.
SWOT is being jointly developed by NASA and CNES, with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and the United Kingdom Space Agency. JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, leads the U.S. component of the project. For the flight system payload, NASA is providing the KaRIn instrument, a GPS science receiver, a laser retroreflector, a two-beam microwave radiometer, and NASA instrument operations. CNES is providing the Doppler Orbitography and Radioposition Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) system, the dual frequency Poseidon altimeter (developed by Thales Alenia Space), the KaRIn radio-frequency subsystem (together with Thales Alenia Space and with support from the UK Space Agency), the platform, and ground control segment. CSA is providing the KaRIn high-power transmitter assembly. NASA is providing the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
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