New satellite with Norut technology

New satellite with Norut technology

April 4, 2014
Head of Communication

The Sentinel-1 satellite was today launched into space and Norut is contributing with ocean monitoring software.

The European satellite will provide important information about oceans, shipping, glaciers and oil spills. Another important service from the satellite can be the monitoring and forecasting of landslides and avalanches.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is responsible for building and launching the Sentinel satellites. Sentinel-1 will be launched from French Guiana in South America this evening (Norwegian time).

Follow the launch online this evening

Ocean mapping

Norut’s contribution involves oceanography, in practice the mapping of waves, wind and ocean currents.

“We have developed and supplied parts of the software for the ground segment,” says Senior Research Scientist Harald Johnsen. Norut is responsible for the maintenance and upgrading of this software, as well as the analysis of relevant data from the satellite.

Norut’s group for Earth Observation is also participating in the satellite’s Mission Performance Centre, where the scientists work together with major European institutions on testing and adjusting of the products the satellite delivers. Norut was part of the consortium that won the contract concerning responsibility for calibration and validation of the products, so there will be a few hectic months ahead for the scientists until everything is ready for regular delivery of satellite data.

Pre-launch simulation

Senior Research Scientist Yngvar Larsen has also developed a raw data simulator for Sentinel-1 on commission from ESA. The simulator has been used to generate synthetic datasets for use during the testing of ESA’s ground systems. These ground systems will soon receive and process data from the satellite, data which will be used by major operational actors worldwide.

“Developing the simulator has been a one-man job, but it is based on an algorithm Geir Engen and I have developed in a previous research project,” says Larsen.  

Landslide monitoring 

Norut is also heading an international group that won an ESA contract for the validation of radar data from Sentinel-1 for use in interferometry. This represents an important step forward for the monitoring of landslides. NGU is the Norwegian partner in this work, and the mountain Nordnesfjellet in Troms has been chosen as one of the test areas in the project.

Facts about the project

In other words, today is New Year’s Eve today because the pre and post launch focus for the satellite scientists at Norut will definitely be on hard work.Den europeiske satellitten skal gi viktig informasjon om hav, skipstrafikk, isbreer og oljesøl. Overvåkning og varsling av fjell- og snøskred kan også bli en viktig tjeneste fra satellitten.

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Sentinel 1