EU’s new satellite gives public power over climate Change
The EU yesterday launched the first in six hi-tech cameras that will monitor climate change.
Sentinel-1A is the first satellite in the €3.786 billion ‘Copernicus project’ designed to monitor Earth for climate change and environment damage. The Copernicus project is a joint project by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union and is dubbed ‘the most ambitious Earth observation programme’ to date.
Sentinel-1A is capable of radar-scanning the Earth. With its partner Sentinel-1B, due next year, the satellite can provide images of any place on Earth, from icebergs to oil spills, ground collapse and illegal logging.
ESA said that aside from monitoring changes on the surface of the Earth, the photos can lead to a digital map of areas hit by flood or earthquakes, important data needed by emergency teams when they respond to disaster-hit areas. What is more significant is that these images will be accessible to the public.
Soyuz rocket carrying Sentinel-1A was launched from Kourou, French Guiana
The other satellites that make up the Copernicus project are Sentinel-2 which sends high-resolution optical images of land use; Sentinel-3 which provides data on oceans and land and Sentinels-4 and 5 that can monitor the atmosphere and greenhouse gases.
ESA said ‘Copernicus will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.’ It will replace the previous Earth observation mission Envisat, which lost contact with Earth in 2012.