Image: Uluru imaged by Proba-1 HRC

Image: Uluru imaged by Proba-1 HRC
Credit: ESA

Uluru/Ayers Rock in the Australian outback, imaged from 600 km away by the smallest camera on one of ESA's smallest satellites – the technology demonstrator turned-operational Earth-observing mission Proba-1.

Less than a cubic metre, Proba-1 is the first in ESA's series of satellites aimed at flight-testing new space technologies. It was launched in October 2001 as an experimental mission but is still going strong after 14 years in orbit, having since been reassigned to ESA's Earth observation team.

Proba-1's main hyperspectral CHRIS imager is supplemented by this experimental HRC high-resolution camera, acquiring black and white 5 m-resolution images.

Other innovations included what were then novel gallium-arsenide solar cells, the use of startrackers for attitude control, one of the first – now the longest such item operating in orbit – and one of ESA's first ERC32 microprocessors to run Proba-1's agile computer.

Towering 348 m above its surroundings, the monolithic Uluru was formed from compressed layers of sandstone when this part of Australia was a shallow sea, layers that were subsequently tilted and uplifted. The lines seen cutting across its top come from horizontal sandstone layering.

This image was acquired by HRC on 8 September 2015.

Explore further

Image: Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica, as seen by ESA's Proba-1

Citation: Image: Uluru imaged by Proba-1 HRC (2016, January 14) retrieved 18 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

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