China launched a cooperative mission with the French agency CNES when the CFOSAT oceanographic satellite was lofted place from the Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center at 00:47 UTC Monday. A Long March-2C (Chang Zhen-2C) rocket was used to launch the new satellite together with several small satellites.
Developed jointly by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), CFOSAT carries two radar instruments. The SWIM (Surface Waves Investigation and Monitoring), is a wave scatterometer supplied by CNES and the SCAT (wind SCAT terometer), a wind-field scatterometer supplied by CNSA.
SWIM’s 6 rotating beams will enable it to measure wave properties (direction, wavelength, etc.), while SCAT will measure wind intensity and direction. The data will be downlinked to French and Chinese receiving stations.
These data will allow scientists to achieve more accurate ocean forecasts and give earlier warning of severe weather events like storms and cyclones. CFOSAT will also help climatologists to learn more about exchanges between the oceans and atmosphere, which play a key role in climate.
Conceived by the LATMOS atmospheres, environments and space observations laboratory in Paris and Guyancourt, the SWIM instrument was developed by Thales Alenia Space with oversight and funding from CNES. ...