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Technical briefing on the design and construction of ENVISAT

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

The Canadian Space Agency invites media representatives to take part in a one-day technical briefing on the design and construction of ENVISAT, the European Space Agency's newest and largest Earth observation satellite, scheduled for launch in July 2001 from Kourou, French Guyana.

Currently undergoing its final test sequences at the ESA Test Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, ENVISAT stands ten metres tall and is the most sophisticated European-built Earth observation satellite to date.

Much like Canada, the European Space Agency (ESA) has been using satellites to "keep an eye" on the Earth for many years now. The contribution of Earth observation satellites, such as Canada's RADARSAT-1 and ESA's ERS-1, ERS-2 and now ENVISAT, are helping provide scientists with even more accurate information and data on the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, land and ice.

All ten scientific instruments have been installed on the spacecraft and the large Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar antenna deployed. With the exception of the solar array, ENVISAT, on display at ESTEC for the media, is now in its actual in-flight configuration.About the ENVISAT Technical Briefing

Media representatives are advised to complete and return the attached accreditation form to reserve their place at the media technical briefing. Leading international scientists, top managers from the Astrium industrial consortium and the ESA project team will give comprehensive background briefings on the mission objectives of ENVISAT, its sophisticated instruments and the work scheduled between now and the start of its operational life in polar orbit. Canadian Space Agency representatives will also be available for interviews during this event.

ENVISAT Media Event - Thursday, February 1, 2001 - 10:00 -15:30

Location: Space Expo, ESTEC Visitors' Centre, Noordwijk, ,The Netherlands

10:00 Arrival/registration of

guests 10:30 ''Envisat- just months to go...''. (the movie)

10:45 The ENVISAT programme: Jacques Louet, ENVISAT programme manager (ESA)

11:00 ENVISAT status/Industry overview: D. Todman, Envisat Polar Platform project manager, Astrium (UK); K.-P. Bartholomae, Envisat mission prime project manager, Astrium (D)

11:20 ENVISAT - spacecraft for all seasons and environments

Chemistry in our atmosphere: Prof. J. Burrows, University of Bremen (D)

Environment and climate: Prof. H. Grassl, Director of Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (D) and former Director of the World Climate Research Programme

Physics of our oceans: Dr. P. Gaspar, Collecte Localisation Satellite (CLS), Toulouse (F)

Physics of our land surfaces: Prof. F.Rocca, Politecnico di Milano (I)

12:20 Question and answer session

12:45 Visit to ENVISAT spacecraft at ESTEC Test Centre, interview opportunities and buffet lunch

15:30 End of technical briefing

Canada's Participation in ENVISAT

As a Co-operating State of the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency facilitates the participation of Canadian space companies in key ESA Programs. Through Canada's participation in the design, construction and deployment of ESA's ENVISAT, the Canadian Space Agency is building Canadian knowledge and expertise, rewarding Canadian innovation with opportunity and strengthening Canada's economy by leading the world in Earth observation:

C EMS Technologies of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec furnished switch assemblies, on-board electronic sub-systems and antenna expertise for the Synthetic Aperture Radar that will enable ENVISAT to pierce through the clouds, day or night, in all weather conditions, like RADARSAT-1, to capture data from every corner of our planet.

C ABB-Bomen of Quebec City helped produce one of the ten special instruments placed onboard ENVISAT, the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS). The MIPAS is an infrared Fourier spectrometer -- a sophisticated instrument designed to measure the concentration of various atmospheric constituents. It has a high spectral resolution and range, allowing global measurement of more than 20 trace gases during all seasons, atmospheric pressure, and temperature. MIPAS can operate equally well during daylight and in the dark.

C COM DEV of Cambridge, Ontario provided leading-edge electronics called "local oscillators" that are installed in the microwave radiometer (MWR). This instrument is used on the satellite to measure atmospheric water vapour, the liquid water content of clouds, soil moisture over land, surface energy and detect and classify different forms of ice.

C MacDonald Detwiller and Associates of Richmond, British Columbia, with their expertise in the construction and operation of Canada's RADARSAT Earth observation satellites and their solid experience as leader of the development of the ground segment for ESA'S ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites, furnished key elements essential for the capture and transmission of payload data to ground stations.

C The Canada Centre for Remote Sensing will play a key role in the capture of data information by ground stations located in Gatineau, Quebec and Prince Albert, British Columbia.

ENVISAT is the follow-on to the earlier Earth observation satellites, ERS-1 and ERS-2, in which Canada also made a significant contribution. ENVISAT will ensure the continuity of radar images and will be used extensively by Canadian users, together with data provided by our own RADARSAT-1 and soon RADARSAT-2. After final testing, Envisat will leave ESTEC in April for a three-month launch campaign at Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. The night launch on an Ariane 5 is planned in the second half of July. For information on the ENVISAT mission:

Canada and the European Space Agency

Supporting the Canadian Government strategy to strengthen cooperation with Europe in critical areas of science and technology, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, in June 2000, renewed a Cooperation Agreement for a term of ten years, the fourth, dating back to 1978. Through this membership in ESA, in exchange for an average annual contribution of around $25 million by the Canadian Space Agency, ($5 million general contribution and $20 million earmarked for specific programs) Canadian industry may bid for, and receive, contracts to work in programmes of interest. Canada participates in ESA deliberative bodies, decision making and actively takes part in programs and activities. The Cooperation Agreement contains specific guarantees to ensure a fair industrial return to Canadian industry in ESA activities and programmes in which Canada participates. For more information on Canada and ESA: http://www.space.gc.ca

ENVISAT Media Event - Thursday, February 1, 2001 

Location: Space Expo, ESTEC Visitors'Centre, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

10:00 to 15:30

First Name: _______________________ Last Name: ____________________________ 

Media: ________________________________________________________________ 

Address: ______________________________________________________________ 

______________________________________________________________________ 

______________________________________________________________________ 

Tel: _______________________________ Fax: ____________________________ 

Cell: ____________________________ E-mail: ____________________________ 

( ) I will be attending the ENVISAT Media Event 

Please fax this form to:

Heidi Graf

ESA/ESTEC Communications Office

Tel: +31.71.565.3006

Fax: +31.71.565.5728

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