Univ. of Miami's CSTARS captures history

July 20, 2011

Following 16 years of Earth observations, the European Space Agency's (ESA) ERS-2 satellite was decommissioned and removed from its continuous orbit around the Earth on July 4, 2011. The final image, captured by the University of Miami's Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS), occurred over the Antilles Islands in the Caribbean.

"We've been tracking ERS-2 for nearly 10 years," said Hans Graber, executive director of CSTARS. "The satellite provided essential scientific data to monitor hurricanes and other environmental and weather-related phenomena."

The data collected from the satellite represents a major asset for the Earth observation community, according to the ESA in Frascati, Italy. The first image collect of the satellite by CSTARS occurred on September 24, 2002.

CSTARS collected more than 24,000 100-km2 scenes of the environmental condition on Earth. These images represent 240 million square-kilometers, which would cover the United States more than 24 times.

Following 16 years of Earth observations, the European Space Agency’s ERS-2 satellite was decommissioned and removed from its continuous orbit around the Earth on July 4, 2011. The final image, captured by the University of Miami’s Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS), occurred over the Antilles Islands in the Caribbean. Credit: UM CSTARS

"Thanks to the collaboration with CSTARS during the last decade, ERS-2 has gained significant recognition as an operational being able to adopt quickly to arising challenges," said Wolfgang Lengert, ERS missions manager at ESA. "The latest example was the recent earthquake in Japan where repetitive observations were made over the Sendai area every 3 days."

CSTARS provided critical support to the ESA following the March 11 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan. Using private communication lines the data were transmitted to CSTARS in near real-time and rapidly processed to generate basic image data for researchers to analyze the geophysical conditions, such as vertical ground displacement, near the earthquake epicenter in Sendai, Japan.

The ERS-2 launched in 1995, to observe land, ocean, atmosphere and polar regions using a variety of remote-sensing instruments affixed to the satellite.

CSTARS also supported the ESA over the last five years as a low-bit data downlink station, in which data were downlinked and immediately processed for distribution to national weather centers around the world.

"In addition to the operational support for ERS-2, CSTARS also contributed to many state of the art science and applications achievements of the ERS missions," said Lengert. "Future missions will benefit from this kind of research collaboration."

Explore further: Pioneering ERS environment satellite retires

Provided by: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

0 shares

Related Stories

Pioneering ERS environment satellite retires

July 6, 2011

After 16 years spent gathering a wealth of data that has revolutionized our understanding of Earth, ESA's veteran ERS-2 satellite is being retired. This pioneering mission has not only advanced science, but also forged the ...

Satellite's final images focus on changing glaciers

July 11, 2011

Some of the last images from ESA’s ERS-2 satellite have revealed rapidly changing glacial features in Greenland. In its final days, the veteran satellite gave us frequent views of the Kangerdlugssuaq glacier and its ...

Earth movements from Japan earthquake seen from space

March 31, 2011

Satellite images have been essential for helping relief efforts in Japan following the massive quake that struck on 11 March. Now scientists are using ESA’s space radars to improve our understanding of tectonic events.

ESA provides space images to Google Earth

November 16, 2006

The European Space Agency says it will create special content to appear in Google Earth, focusing on such events as volcanic eruptions and dust storms.

ESA satellites flying in formation

December 3, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Based on the outstanding success of the first tandem mission between ERS-2 and Envisat last year, ESA has paired the two satellites together again to help improve our understanding of the planet.

Recommended for you

Hubble catches a transformation in the Virgo constellation

December 9, 2016

The constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) is especially rich in galaxies, due in part to the presence of a massive and gravitationally-bound collection of over 1300 galaxies called the Virgo Cluster. One particular member of ...

Scientists sweep stodgy stature from Saturn's C ring

December 9, 2016

As a cosmic dust magnet, Saturn's C ring gives away its youth. Once thought formed in an older, primordial era, the ring may be but a mere babe – less than 100 million years old, according to Cornell-led astronomers in ...

Khatyrka meteorite found to have third quasicrystal

December 9, 2016

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.S. and Italy has found evidence of a naturally formed quasicrystal in a sample obtained from the Khatyrka meteorite. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.