New Earth Explorer Mission Assessment Groups - membership application now open

Announcement of Opportunity
14 July 2006

Following the selection of six new Core Earth Explorer proposals to undergo assessment study, ESA is inviting all scientists who wish to apply for membership of one or more of the associated Mission Assessment Groups to do so via the following website: http://missionadvice.esa.int

Applications must be submitted by 15 September 2006 (noon CEST).

Earth Explorer missions form the science and research element of the ESA's Living Planet Programme and focus on the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and the Earth's interior with the overall emphasis on learning more about the interactions between these components and the impact that human activity is having on natural Earth processes.

The science community are involved right from the beginning in the definition of new missions, and include a peer-reviewed selection process. This process gives the Earth science community an efficient tool for advancing the understanding of the Earth system and also forms the basis for development of new applications of Earth observation.

GOCE
GOCE will be the next Earth Explorer to launch

As this is a rolling programme, there are already six Earth Explorer missions under implementation and now the six new proposals selected for assessment study. The Mission Assessment Groups play an integral role in this assessment study phase by providing scientific advice to the Agency and assisting in the drafting of the Reports for Assessment. The Reports for Assessment are key to the evaluation process which leads to the selection missions to enter Phase-A study after the Earth Explorer User Consultation Meeting in 2007.

The current Earth Explorer Core mission shortlist comprises:

BIOMASS – to take global measurements of forest biomass.

TRAQ (TRopospheric composition and Air Quality) - to monitor air quality and long-range transport of air pollutants.

PREMIER (PRocess Exploration through Measurements of Infrared and millimetre-wave Emitted Radiation) – to understand processes that link trace gases, radiation, chemistry and climate in the atmosphere.

FLEX (FLuorescence EXplorer) – to observe global photosynthesis through the measurement of fluorescence.

A-SCOPE (Advanced Space Carbon and Climate Observation of Planet Earth) – to improve our understanding of the global carbon cycle and regional carbon dioxide fluxes.

CoReH2O (Cold Regions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory – to make detailed observations of key snow, ice and water cycle characteristics.

More information about the missions and how to apply for membership can be found on the Earth Explorer Group Application website .

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