SMOS satellite

Facts and figures

Full name: Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity

Platform: Proteus platform adapted to the needs of SMOS

Instrument: Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS)

Mass: 658 kg (platform: 275 kg, payload: 355 kg, fuel: 28 kg)

Power: deployable solar panels with Sicells, Li-ion battery

Launch: 2 November 2009 at 02:50 CET

Launch site: Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia

Launcher: Rockot by Eurockot Launch Services GmbH

Orbit: mean altitude of 758 km and inclination of 98.44°; Sun-synchronous, quasi-circular, dusk-dawn, 23-day repeat cycle, 3-day sub-cycle

Mission control: via CNES (French space agency) ground station in Toulouse, France. S-band uplink and downlink for satellite health and housekeeping data and telecommanding through ground station network in Kiruna (Sweden), Aussaguel (France) and Kourou (French Guiana)

Data reception, processing & archiving: Data Processing Centre at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villafranca, Spain; long-term archive at Kiruna; User Services via ESA’s Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN) in Frascati, Italy

Nominal life: three years (including a six-month commissioning phase) with a possible two-year extension

The design and construction of SMOS involved more than 20 European companies and hundreds of technicians and engineers around Europe. Spain’s EADS CASA Espacio is the prime contractor for the MIRAS instrument. Thales Alenia Space Industries (France) and CNES are responsible for the Proteus platform.

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