SWOT: a revolutionary satellite to observe water on Earth

Highly accurate new data

Embedded in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the SWOT satellite will be able to monitor the surface of the oceans and water bodies in Canada and elsewhere on Earth. Its technology will help determine how much and how quickly lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans are changing over time. The long-term goal: to improve the way we manage water on our planet.

A new technology

SWOT will go into orbit at an altitude of 890 km. It is equipped with a revolutionary instrument: a “wide swath interferometer” designed to measure the height of the water. This tool has two radar antennas, making it possible to produce a two-dimensional image. This will make the measurement more accurate. “We will have a resolution ten times greater than what current technologies produce for measuring the height of the oceans”, explains Karen St. Germain, director of Earth observation at NASA.

Improving our knowledge

The results and measurements provided by the SWOT satellite will improve several Canadian services, such as water management, responsible resource development and even environmental monitoring. This 2.2 ton mastodon is on mission for a total of three years and its budget is 1.1 billion US.

Sources : CatNat et Government of Canada

SEE ALSO: We haven’t seen the Earth from this angle since Apollo 17

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.