Press Release No 45
Satellite Launched on March 1:
Envisat satellite, launched on Friday 1 March, will relay to Earth
information on environmental changes including global warming, ozone layer
depletion, earthquakes, volcanoes and floods.
£1.4 billion project has been developed over the last ten years and is backed
by the European Space Agency with Canada. Weighing 8.2 tonnes, it is 10m high and the size of an articulated lorry.
It will orbit 800km above Earth for five years and will relay its data
continuously to scientists across Europe.
of Earth Observation Science at the University of Leicester Space Research
Centre, David Llewellyn-Jones, said: "We
have a strong involvement in three of the ten sensors in Envisat, which is
almost unprecedented for a University. The AATSR satellite will measure the temperature of the Earth's surface
very precisely and continuously, so we can detect global warming, determine its
magnitude and see how it is distributed, including those parts of the world that
are becoming cooler as a result of global warming."
Lewellyn-Jones is the principal investigator of the AATSR project and is
responsible for ensuring it achieves its objectives. Throughout the entire
project of building the AATSR he has been providing guidance and advice to the
Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. His Leicester colleague,
Dr Marianne Edwards, will co-ordinate validation of its accuracy worldwide.
John Remedios is a member of the Expert Support Laboratory for MIPAS, while Dr
Paul Monks in the Department of Chemistry is a member of the SCIAMACHY Science
Advisory Group. Both MIPAS and SCIAMACHY address issues of pollution in the
atmosphere, particularly their impact on ozone destruction, through measurements
at different wavelengths of light; the MIPAS exploits infrared radiation whilst
SCIAMACHY observes the ultra-violet/visible region. Dr John Remedios said
"It is vital for us to be able to observe ozone changes in the upper
atmosphere, or stratosphere, at a critical time for recovery as CFC emissions
from human activities being to decrease. These changes are being studied through
a major European project led by Leicester, MAPSCORE, which seeks to observe
ozone loss over the region of Europe during winter/spring."
Envisat launch from Kourou in French Guiana will take place at 1 am GMT on
Friday 1 March. The University of
Leicester scientists involved will then take part in a breakfast meeting at the
National Space Centre, where school children will see a movie of the launch and
can talk about it to University experts in Leicester and - through a direct
communications link - to Lord Sainsbury at the Science Museum in London.
to editors: Further information on the University of Leicester Space Research
Centre's involvement with Envisat is available from Professor David Llewellyn-Jones,
Head of Earth Observation Science, telephone 0116 252 5238 or Dr John Remedios,
telephone 0116 252 1319, email: email@example.com
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