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Jump to: Mission Objectives, Mission Instrumentation, Mission Parameters, Additional Information

Mission Photos:

Courtesy of European Space Agency

Mission Objectives:

The Environmental Satellite (Envisat)-1 is the successor to the European Space Agency (ESA) Remote Sensing Satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2. The satellite will provide continuity with most of the ERS-1 and -2 measurements and adds significant new capabilities. The satellite was launched in early 2002 and with a 5-year operational life, the mission will support the provision of long term data sets which are essential for both operational application of spaceborne remote sensing systems and climatological and environmental research.

The objectives of the Envisat-1 mission are intended to support the monitoring and studying of the Earth's environment and climate changes; the management and monitoring of the Earth's resources, both renewable and non-renewable; and the development of a better understanding of the structure and dynamics of the Earth's crust and interior. For more information on Envisat's mission objectives, read the Envisat Mission Support Request Form.

Mission Instrumentation:

EnviSat Sensors

To meet the mission requirements a coherent, multidisciplinary set of sensors has been selected. Each instrument, with its distinct measurement capabilities, contributes to the mission. The instruments have been selected to supports synergism between their measurements and between scientific disciplines, thus making the total payload complement more than just the sum of the instruments. The instruments are:

  • Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS)
  • Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars (GOMOS)
  • SCanning Imaging Absorption spectrometer for AtMospheric CartograpHY (SCIAMACHY)
  • MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)
  • Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR)
  • Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR)
  • Radar Altimeter 2 (RA-2)
  • MicroWave Radiometer (MWV)
  • Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS)
  • RetroReflector Array (RRA)
Mission Parameters:
Sponsor: European Space Agency
Expected Life: 5 years
Primary Applications: remote sensing and environmental monitoring
Primary SLR Applications: POD
COSPAR ID: 0200901
SIC Code: 6179
Satellite Catalog (NORAD) Number: 27386
Launch Date: 1 March 2002
NP Bin Size: 15 seconds
RRA Diameter: 20 cm
RRA Shape: hemispherical
Reflectors: 9 corner cubes
Orbit: circular, sun-synchronous polar
Inclination: 98.54 degrees
Eccentricity: 0.001165
Perigee: 796 km
Period: 100 minutes
Weight: 8211 kg

Additional Information:

Web sites:


  • Femenias, P.F., "ESA EO Envisat and Cryosat Missions Status (Poster)", 14th International Laser Ranging Workshop, San Fernando, Spain, June 7-11, 2004.", 14th International Laser Ranging Workshop, San Fernando, Spain, June 7-11, 2004.