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France and China Partner to Study Ocean Storms

By | October 23, 2017
      Rendition of the CFOSat satellite. Photo: CNES.

      Rendition of the CFOSat satellite. Photo: CNES.

      CNES, France’s national space agency, and the China National Space Administration (CNSA), have made public their plans to launch a joint satellite that will be used to collect wind and wave data over the ocean. The satellite, called CFOSat, will enable scientists to model atmosphere-ocean interface phenomena, analyze the role of waves and study the properties of sea and polar ice.

      The two agencies will each contribute a radar instrument that will help improve scientists’ understanding how the ocean works and its role in curbing climate change. The satellite is also set to deliver information for marine weather forecasting.

      In August, CNES delivered the Surface Waves Investigation and Monitoring (SWIM) radar instrument and a science telemetry system to its Chinese partner Dong Fang Hong Satellite (DFHSat). They will be on the satellite alongside a wind scatterometer instrument designed by CNSA. CNES and DFHSat teams are working together at the Huairou facility in northern Beijing on the final integration phase.

      A Chinese Long March launcher will place the satellite into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for a three-year mission in the second half of 2018.