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Primary instrument is delivered for ESA's CryoSat mission

ing just 70 kilograms, it combines three measurement modes: Low-resolution, for conventional altimetric measurements limited to the relatively flat relief of continental ice fields both on land and at sea.

Synthetic Aperture Radar mode, to provide high-resolution measurements of floating sea-ice. Interferometric radar mode to study sharper relief areas, such as the very active transition areas where ice fields join the continental shelf.

The CryoSat satellite is currently undergoing final environmental testing at the Space Test Centre at IAGB (Industrieanlagen Betriebsgellschaft mbH) and now that the key SIRAL instrument has been delivered, integration will begin shortly. Guy Ratier, ESA's CryoSat Project Manager said, "Indeed, the arrival of the flight model of SIRAL at IABG is a major step in the assembly and integration activities of the CryoSat Satellite. We are all eager to see this complex payload being operated with the spacecraft. Performance predictions are excellent and based on tests performed so far with the engineering model, we are quite confident of the successful outcome of the integration campaign starting now."

CryoSat is due to be shipped to the launch site in Plesetsk, Russia in mid-February ready for launch, which is scheduled for 25 March 2005.


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Contact: Michael Rast
michael.rast@esa.int
31-071-565-4465
European Space Agency
6-Oct-2004


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