On 23 December 2021, Copernicus Sentinel-1B experienced an anomaly related to the instrument electronics power supply provided by the satellite platform, rendering it unable to deliver radar data. Since then spacecraft operators and engineers have been working tirelessly to fix this problem. Unfortunately, despite all concerted efforts, ESA and the European Commission announced that this is the end of the mission for Sentinel-1B. Copernicus Sentinel-1A is fully operational and Sentinel-1C is planned to be launched as soon as possible.
The director of ESA’s Earth Observation Program, Simonetta Chelli, said, “Unfortunately, we have to announce the end of the mission for the Copernicus Sentinel-1B satellite. The conclusion drawn by the Anomaly Review Board is that the satellite’s C-band synthetic It is impossible to recover the 28V regulated bus of the aperture radar antenna power supply unit, which is needed to power the radar electronics.
“Sentinel-1A remains very healthy in orbit, continuing to deliver high quality radar images for many applications. Our focus is on fast-tracking Sentinel-1C’s launch. Now, on 13 July Vega- Thanks to the successful inaugural flight of the Sea rocket, we, along with Arianespace, are targeting a launch in the second quarter of 2023.
The European Commission’s Acting Director for Space (Directorate General of Defense Industry and Space), Paraskevi Papantoniou, said: “The permanent unavailability of the Sentinel-1B satellite represents a significant loss for the European Union’s space program and the European Commission recognizes its impact. We have been able to advance the launch of the Sentinel-1C satellite in particular.
“Meanwhile, European new space companies including Copernicus Contributing Mission data will continue to be used to support the most important Copernicus service products that are affected. Preparing for the Sentinel-1B satellite’s exit from orbit for the EU and ESA This is an example of our joint commitment to a clean and responsible space by harnessing the EU’s space surveillance and tracking capabilities.”
In April 2014, Sentinel-1A was the first satellite to be launched for Copernicus, the Earth observation component of the European Union’s space programme. While the European Union is at the helm of Copernicus, ESA develops, builds and launches dedicated Sentinel satellites. It also operates some missions.
After Sentinel-1B launch in April 2016, with the mission consisting of two identical satellites in a 180-degree orbit, the mission was able to image the planet with a maximum repeat frequency of six days, below daily coverage at high latitudes.
By bringing advanced radar technology to provide an all-weather, day-night supply of Earth’s surface imagery, the ambitious Sentinel-1 mission raised the bar for space-borne radar.
The mission benefits several Copernicus services and applications, such as Arctic sea-ice monitoring, iceberg tracking, routine sea-ice mapping, glacier-velocity monitoring, monitoring of the marine environment including oil-spill monitoring and for marine Ship locating is included. Security as well as monitoring of illegal fisheries. It is also used for monitoring of ground deformation resulting from earthquakes and volcanoes, mapping for forest, water and soil management, and mapping to support humanitarian aid and crisis situations.
With such an important role to play and users relying on timely data, ESA made it clear that it could take weeks to resolve Sentinel-1B’s power issue, which will be due in late December. was hoping.
ESA’s Sentinel-1 mission manager, Pierre Potin, said, “Together with the European Commission we are making sure to bridge some of the data gaps by adjusting the Sentinel-1A observation plan and through radar data from other satellite missions that are in Copernicus.” Contribute to the program. For example, we support Canada’s Radarsat-2 and Radarsat Constellation missions, Germany’s TerraSar-X, Italy’s Cosmo-SkyMed and Canada’s Radarsat-2 and Radarsat Constellation missions to support operational sea-ice surveillance for the Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service. Are able to access data from PAZs of Spain.
“While we continue to strive to minimize inconvenience for users and to get Sentinel-1C into orbit as quickly as possible, we are also preparing for responsible disposal of Sentinel-1B.”
Alistair O’Connell, Sentinel-1 Spacecraft Operations Manager, said, “We have Sentinel-1B under control, all other systems except the power affected unit, which prevents the radar from being triggered, will continue to function nominally. and we perform regular spacecraft health monitoring and routine orbit control maneuvers. We will keep Sentinel-1B under control until we begin the disposal process, which we will do to ensure Sentinel-1C reaches a safe orbit. Will start later.
“Sentinel-1B will be decommissioned in accordance with the space debris mitigation requirements that were in place for ESA projects at the time of the design of Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B, meaning that re-entry into the atmosphere will occur within 25 years. .. In practice, the period of re-admission is expected to be very short.”
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