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ESA's microsatellite playing major role in scientific studies

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CHRIS, which is roughly the size of a large television set, is especially useful because of its combined ability to retrieve hyperspectral and multi-angular data. The imager's combination of high spatial resolution and wide spectral range means that a large amount of important biophysical and biochemical properties can be gathered, including chlorophyll and water content, leaf area index and overall biomass and vegetation health. It is also useful for studying the atmosphere and bodies of water.

Mike Barnsley of the University Swansea in the UK said that although upcoming missions will offer hyperspectral capabilities, "the multi-angle acquisition capacity of Proba/CHRIS remains unsurpassed by any other equivalent mission. What the scientific community requires now is a CHRIS-2 instrument, perhaps with extended spectral on a future Proba satellite to build upon the stunning successes of the original mission."

Participants also focused on the CHRIS/Proba mission helping to develop a new scientific community exploring applications of hyperspectral and multi-angle image data and on the growing knowledge base stemming from the mission, which is leading to a more coherent terrestrial science community that could provide informed advice on future satellite missions.

The need to better promote the advantages of the mission to a still wider scientific audience, since the CHRIS/Proba community is relatively small and select, was also highlighted at the workshop. To this end, Proba Scientific Investigators are invited to submit their contributions to the 2007 Envisat Symposium being held from 23 to 27 April 2007 in Montreux, Switzerland, where dedicated sessions will be organised.

In closing comments, the Proba community expressed hope that the spacecraft would last well beyond its 5-year anniversary next month in order to keep the science going until new missions with similar capabilities arrive.


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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
22-Sep-2006


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