Environmental monitoring instrument reaches orbit – Space Source


Artist’s impression of the General Atomics GAzelle satellite, carrying the Argos-4 instrument. Courtesy of General Atomics.

Argos-4, a satellite instrument designed to improve knowledge of the environment, ecosystems and biodiversity of the Earth, reached orbit after its launch on October 8 from the RocketLab launch site on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand.

The instrument, developed by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the French Space Agency (CNES), is a payload hosted on board a General Atomics GAzelle satellite.

CNES provided Argos-4 to NOAA to continue the long-standing Argos Data Collection System (Argos DCS), which dates back to 1978.

Argos is a polar-orbiting satellite system that captures, processes and distributes environmental data – ranging from atmospheric pressure and sea surface temperatures, to wildlife monitoring and marine animal tracking – from platforms. fixed and mobile forms all over the world, including inaccessible areas such as oceans, deserts and polar regions.

“With its enhanced technology, Argos-4 will help take the pulse of the Earth’s environment and deliver greater value and benefits to a range of users around the world today and in the future,” said Steve. Volz, director of NOAA’s satellite and information service.

“The near real-time information provided by satellites about our environment and its evolution is essential to all aspects of NOAA Fisheries’ mission,” added Janet Coit, Deputy Administrator of NOAA Fisheries, the primary user of Argos data.

“Argos-4’s enhanced data collection capabilities will improve our ability to manage sustainable fisheries, conserve protected resources, monitor marine heatwaves, and take action to support the resilience of our communities.”

After the initial orbital verification of Argos-4 is completed over the next two weeks, CNES will calibrate the instrument for three to six months before it is fully integrated into the DCS Argos.

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