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HydroGNSS (Earth Scout 2)


HydroGNSS the second of ESA's Earth observation Scout missions, will provide measurements of key hydrological climate variables, including soil moisture, freeze–thaw state over permafrost, inundation and wetlands, and above-ground biomass, using a technique called Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reflectometry.

The mission will will complement missions such as ESA’s SMOS and Biomass, Copernicus Sentinel-1 and NASA’s SMAP.

The satellite measures the signal reflected off the land, ice and ocean from existing GNSS missions such as Galileo and GPS. Although these signals are faint, they can be collected by a low power receiver that can be accommodated on a small satellite in low Earth orbit making it compatible with a Scout mission.

The industrial consortium consists of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (UK) in charge of the development of the complete system, and a consortium of scientific institutes that will develop the retrieval techniques to access these key hydrological climate variable from the reflected signal: the National Oceanography Centre (UK), the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (UK), the University of Rome La Sapienza (IT), the Institute of Space Studies Catalonia (ES), and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FI).

Nation: Europe
Type / Application: Earth Observation
Operator: SSTL, ESA
Contractors: SSTL
Configuration: SSTL-42 (SSTL X50) ?
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 40 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
HydroGNSS - 2024 with ?


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