30 March 1995
ERS-1 and ERS-2 to perform tandem mission The launch of ERS-2, ESA's second remote sensing satellite, is now scheduled for the night of 20 to 21 April 1995, at 10h44 p.m. Kourou time, (01h44 a.m. GMT, 03h44 a.m. Paris time) by the Ariane launcher, (there will be further launch opportunities the following night and the night of 23 to 24 April).
The launch of ERS-2 will at the same time open a new era of Earth observation by radar : the ESA Council decided on 22 March 1995 to operate ERS-2 in tandem with ERS- 1, which was launched in 1991. This joint operations of two radar satellites is eagerly awaited by several hundred scientists, as only two satellites on well-tuned orbits allow the fully exploit the potential of SAR interferometry. SAR interferometry is a method to map the Earth's surface with extreme accuracy.
SAR interferometry is already used for observing earthquakes and monitoring volcanic areas. The ERS tandem mission will improve the accuracy of these investigations and, equally important, establish the database for a highly precise, digital, three-dimensional map of the Earth's continental surface. Establishing such a global digital terrain model with conventional methods would be impossible.
ESA is pleased to invite the media to attend the ERS-2 launch at the European press centre at ESOC, its operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Journalists wishing to attend are requested to fill in the attached form and return it, preferably by fax, to the ESOC Public Relations Office (Fax: +49.6151.90.2961).
The German news channel n-tv will produce, live from ESOC and starting 02h15 a.m., Paris summer time, a three and a half hour television programme covering ERS activities, the Arianespace videotransmission of the ERS-2 launch from Kourou, and the ensuing critical operations during the first orbit conducted from ESOC's Operations Control Centre. This programme can be received in German, throughout Europe, via the Astra 1B satellite, positioned at 19.2 E, transponder 29, downlink frequency : 11.641 GHz, polarization H.
In addition, the English and German language versions of the production will be available on the Intelsat-K satellite positioned at 338.5 E, transponder H5/lower, downlink frequency 11.4715 GHz, audio frequency for German commentary 6.65 MHz and for English commentary 7.2 MHz. The pictures will be without the n-tv logo and can be used, free-of-charge, by all television networks for their reports on the ERS-2 launch, provided they are not used live.
For further information, please contact ESA Public Relations (Tel: 33.1/126.96.36.199