Swarm trio becomes a quartet

phys.org | 2/23/2018 | Staff
KimmyPoo (Posted by) Level 3
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With the aim of making the best possible use of existing satellites, ESA and Canada have made a deal that turns Swarm into a four-satellite mission to shed even more light on space weather and features such as the aurora borealis.

In orbit since 2013, ESA's three identical Swarm satellites have been returning a wealth of information about how our magnetic field is generated and how it protects us from dangerous electrically charged atomic particles in the solar wind.

Canada - Cassiope - Satellite - Instrument - Packages

Canada's Cassiope satellite carries three instrument packages, one of which is e-POP. It delivers information on space weather which complements that provided by Swarm. Therefore, the mission teams began looking into how they could work together to make the most of the two missions.

To make life easier, it also just so happens that Cassiope's orbit is ideal to improve Swarm's readings.

Thanks - Cooperation - ESA - Third - Party

And now, thanks to this international cooperation and formalised through ESA's Third Party Mission programme, e-POP has effectively become a fourth element of the Swarm mission. It joins Swarm's Alpha, Bravo and Charlie satellites as Echo.

Josef Aschbacher, ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes, noted, "This is a textbook example of how virtual constellations and collaborative initiatives can be realised, even deep into the missions' exploitation phases.

Opportunity - Swarm - Mission

"We embrace the opportunity to include e-POP in the Swarm mission, especially because it is clear...
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