In order to give you a better service Airbus uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies I agree

Search
Newsroom
Search
Newsroom
05 December 2014
Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space selected as prime contractor by ESA for new Earth observation mission

space
Summary

New Copernicus satellite to look at ocean surface topography Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 scheduled for launch in 2020

airbus ds_logo(800x505)
 

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, as the prime contractor to develop and construct the first Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 satellite. Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 is a mission to carry out high-precision measurements of ocean surface topography.

The satellite will measure its distance to the ocean surface with an accuracy of a few centimetres and use this data to map the topography globally, repeating the cycle every ten days. Observing changes in sea-surface height using such a high level of accuracy provides insights into global sea levels, the speed and direction of ocean currents, and ocean heat storage. The measurements made are vital for modelling the oceans and predicting rises in sea levels.

The Sentinel-6 mission is part of the European Earth observation programme Copernicus, and is a continuation of a programme of global ocean-surface measurements made by satellites that began in 1992. Weighing around 1 tonne and flying at an altitude of around 1,300kilometres, the Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 satellite will ensure that measurements are carried out on a continuous basis from 2020. The satellite is designed to orbit for five and a half years, and operations will be overseen and managed by EUMETSAT in Darmstadt, Germany. Development of the satellite will be based on the highly successful CryoSat programme.

“For this project we will rely not only upon the proven and efficient designs and processes applied to numerous Earth observation missions, but also, of course, upon the experienced Cryosat team of experts,” said François Auque, Head of Space Systems.

As with CryoSat, Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen will be the prime contractor for the space segment and heads the industry consortium on behalf of ESA. Thales Alenia Space France will construct the main instrument, a radar altimeter, whose predecessor is already being used on CryoSat-2. Further instruments are being constructed by NASA/JPL in the USA and provided by the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 mission.

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.

Press contacts

Astrid Emerit
+ 33 1 39 06 89 43
astrid.emerit@astrium.eads.net

Jeremy Close
+ 44 14 38 77 38 72
jeremy.close@astrium.eads.net

Gregory Gavroy
+ 33 1 39 06 89 42
gregory.gavroy@astrium.eads.net

Ralph Heinrich
+ 49 89 607 33971
ralph.heinrich@astrium.eads.net

Mathias Pikelj
+ 49 75 45 89 123
mathias.pikelj@astrium.eads.net

Francisco Lechón
+ 34 91 586 37 41
francisco.lechon@astrium.eads.net

Qatar Airways reconfirms and upsizes its order for 50 A321neo ACF

en fr de es

Peruvian Government: “Satellite investment recovered after first year of operations”

en fr de es

American Airlines is first retrofit customer for Airbus’ new Airspace XL luggage bins on its A321 fleet

en
Back to top