3 March 2000
The continued monitoring of ozone is assured well towards the end of the next decade through a 38.3 million Euro contract signed today in Florence, Italy for three new Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME-2) instruments.
GOME-2 is an enhancement of the ESA GOME-1 instrument flown on ERS-2, the Earth Observation satellite, which to date continues to provide a wealth of scientific data from orbit. Within the EUMETSAT Polar System, which consists of a space segment comprised of three METOP satellites and their payloads, and a ground segment for command, control and data processing, GOME-2 is the operational instrument specifically devoted to measuring the ozone content in the atmosphere.
GOME-2 measurements will allow the daily global retrieval of total ozone and vertical ozone profile in the atmospheric, and in addition, the measurement of atmospheric trace gases.
The EUMETSAT Polar System, and the ESA METOP-1 Programme together form a co-operative venture between the two organisations, and lead to the launch of the first METOP satellite in mid-2003. The system provides operational meteorological data from polar orbiting satellites, to complement and complete an international system of polar satellites operated together with the US.
The contract on the procurement of three flight models of the GOME-2 instrument was signed today by Dr. Claudio Mastracci, ESA Director of Applications Programmes, Dr. Tillmann Mohr, EUMETSAT Director, and Dr. Giancarlo Grasso, Deputy Head, Defence Sector of Finmeccanica for Alenia Difesa/Officine Galileo BU Spazio.
The variations of atmospheric ozone are of vital importance for many reasons, and its distribution in the atmosphere needs to be mapped continuously. The enhanced GOME-2 instrument on METOP will continue the series of ESA measurements started by GOME-1 on ERS-2 and to be provided by the SCIAMACHY instrument on ESA's environmental satellite Envisat due to be launched in 2001.
In addition to innovative data for Numerical Weather Prediction, one of the most important contributions of GOME-2 will be the continuation and improvement of the climate record of ozone. Monthly and seasonal maps of ozone distribution throughout the atmosphere will provide a record of its variation with time and will help detect long-term trends of major importance for the health of the planet and its population.
Information for Editors
The European Space Agency has 15 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). Its purpose is to provide for and promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, co-operation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for space applications systems.
EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation that establishes, maintains and exploits operational meteorological satellites for 17 European States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom). EUMETSAT also has three Cooperating States (Slovakia, Hungary and Poland). The images and data from its Meteosat satellites make a significant contribution to weather forecasting throughout Europe and neighbouring continents.
Officine Galileo BU Spazio
Officine Galileo BU Spazio is the Business Unit in charge for space activities within Alenia Difesa- Avionics Systems and Equipment Division, the Finmeccanica company which supplies defence systems and high tech equipment for civil and military applications. The technology, from electro-optics to radar's, to precision mechanics, to electronic, constitutes the strong connection to produce industrial products for diversified markets.
With Officine Galileo BU Spazio, Finmeccanica has created a major industrial entity (450 people, 50 million Euro annual turnover) fully dedicated to space equipment design and manufacturing to provide a large, and synergetic basket of complementary products to serve both institutional and commercial market segments. Product Lines include Attitude Sensors, Mission Payload, RF Equipment, Power Supply and Robotics & Automation.
Headquarters are located in Firenze and operations take place at two sites, Firenze and Milano.
The GOME-2 Instrument
The instrument consists of a scanning telescope and a spectrometer that senses the solar radiation back-scattered by the Earth in the ultraviolet and visible part of the spectrum (240nm-790nm) with a resolution of 0.2nm-0.4nm. Its design is an evolution of the GOME-1 instrument, in operation on board ERS-2 since 1995. Improvements have been made in GOME-2 to achieve daily global coverage (with a nominal pixel size of 80Kmx40Km) and to increase its polarisation measurement capability allowing the detection of clouds and aerosols.
Data from GOME-2 will be used to generate maps of total atmospheric ozone as well as information on its vertical distribution. Satellite measurements of ozone in the upper atmosphere, when routinely assimilated into Numerical Weather Prediction models will have a large impact on the quality of the forecasts of ozone distribution and will also contribute to the improvement of weather forecasts. The reason for this is that there are very few other observations of this important altitude region and changes in the structures of the ozone fields carry useful information about the atmospheric wind fields. Ozone measurements also contribute to the production of reliable estimates and forecasts of the amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth's surface.
For further information please contact:
Franco Bonacina or Liz Venables, ESA Communication Department
Tel. : + 33 (0)1.5369.7155
Fax. : + 33 (0)1.5369.7690
Franca Morgia, ESRIN Communication Department
Mike Phillips or Madeleine Pooley, Information Services Division
Tel. : + 49 (0)6151.807. 605/606
Fax: : + 49 (0)6151.807.612
Officine Galileo BU Spazio
Tel. : +39(0)23.0242.362
Fax. : +39(0)23.0242.052
A similar release is being distributed by ESA/EUMETSAT/Officine Galileo