OCEANSAT-2 is an Indian space mission, which will be launched tentatively at the end of 2008. It is the follow on to the first one and has the same payload: A scatterometer and the Ocean Color Monitoring (OCM) instrument. The scatterom-eter consists of a parabola antenna of 1 m diameter, which works at a frequency of 13.5 GHz (Ku-band) suitable for measuring sea surface wind velocity (both magnitude and direction). Two off-axis feeds in its focal plane define two pencil beams (inner and outer), which measure the back scatter coefficient a0. They have in turn a footprint of about 42 km x 30 km and 57 km x 35 km. The usable swath coverage is 1400 km. The inner beam operates in HH polarization, the outer beam in VV polarization. The OCM instrument is a multispectral optical camera (8 channels),
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana-Centro di Geodesia Spaziale, 75100 Matera, Italy e-mail: [email protected]
that operates with narrow spectral bands in the visible and near infrared bands. It provides ocean color data with a revisiting time of two days with a circular footprint 360 m wide. The second Indian mission main objective is just to assure continuity of operational data services of the first one while promoting new applications in the area of ocean studies including prediction of cyclone trajectory, fishery, and coastal zone mapping. In October 2005 a Memorandum of Understanding (hereafter MoU) was signed between the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Indian Research Space Organization (ISRO). In that MoU it was decided to put the ROSA GPS receiver onboard the OCEANSAT-2 satellite. Furthermore, ASI offered the possibility to download the OCEANSAT-2 scatterometer data at the Matera ASI station where a ground facility suitable to serve current and future space missions like ERS and ENVISAT (ESA), ALOS (JAXA Japanese mission), RADARSAT (Canadian), SAC-D (Argentinian) is going to be realized.
Finally, the third item of the agreement was the promotion of a close cooperation between Italy and India for the development of scientific activities and collaborations for the data exploitation of each payload.
Thus in view of the opportunities to fly ROSA on the Indian satellite as well as on other international space missions (the Argentina's Aquarius/SAC-D) or national ones (SABRINA) ASI's policy plans to cover not only the activities related to the payload but also provide tools for the full exploitation of data on an operational and scientific basis. In parallel to the activities to accommodate the receiver onboard OCEANSAT-2, a program for developing tools suitable for ROSA data processing was undertaken in which research institutions, as well as small companies are involved. Thus in the next sections an overview of all these activities, which will be performed under the ASI umbrella will be given. In Sect. 2 the receiver is described and its accommodation on the satellite will be sketched. The specifications, the requirements, and the philosophy of the software we are going to develop will be outlined in Sect. 3. The scientific activities of the partners will be described in Sect. 4. Finally, some remarks and conclusions will be drawn in the last part of the paper.
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