Facts & Figures

BIOMASS instrument facts and figures


Launch: 2023

Launcher: Vega from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana

Satellite: Three-axis stabilised platform, 10 m high, 12 m wide and 20 m long (including large antenna)

Mass: 1170 kg (including 67 kg fuel)

Instrument: Fully polarimetric P-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument operating at 435 MHz frequency

Power: 1.5 kW deployable solar array with 6.8 m2 triple junction GaAs cells; 144 Ah Li-ion battery

Orbit: Sun-synchronous, at altitude of 666 km inclined at 98 degrees, 3-day repeat cycle

Life: Minimum of 5.5 years

Communication: Science data transmitted to Kiruna (Sweden) via X-band downlink. Tracking, telemetry and command transmitted via S-band uplink and downlink

Mission control: ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt (Germany)

Data processing: ESA’s Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN), in Frascati (Italy)

Scientific objectives: Deliver the first global and systematic measurements of forest height and biomass

Project and commissioning: Managed at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk (the Netherlands)

Prime contractor: Airbus Defence and Space (UK)

Last modified April 23, 2021: [ENH] finalized navbar (c4067ca)