Robotic Spacecraft (Astronomy, Planetary, Earth, Solar/Heliophysics) => Space Science Coverage => Topic started by: bolun on 10/28/2011 01:32 PM

Title: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 10/28/2011 01:32 PM

ESA's magnetic field mission Swarm
The objective of the Swarm mission is to provide the best ever survey of the geomagnetic field and its temporal evolution, and gain new insights into improving our knowledge of the Earth’s interior and climate.

The Swarm concept consists of a constellation of three satellites in three different polar orbits between 400 and 550 km altitude. High-precision and high-resolution measurements of the strength and direction of the magnetic field will be provided by each satellite. In combination, they will provide the necessary observations that are required to model various sources of the geomagnetic field. GPS receivers, an accelerometer and an electric field instrument will provide supplementary information for studying the interaction of the magnetic field with other physical quantities describing the Earth system – for example, Swarm could provide independent data on ocean circulation. 
The multi-satellite Swarm mission will be able to take full advantage of a new generation of magnetometers enabling measurements to be taken over different regions of the Earth simultaneously. Swarm will also provide monitoring of the time-variability aspects of the geomagnetic field, this is a great improvement on the current method of extrapolation based on statistics and ground observations. The geomagnetic field models resulting from the Swarm mission will further our understanding of atmospheric processes related to climate and weather and will also have practical applications in many different areas, such as space weather and radiation hazards.


ESA's Earth Explorers missions
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 10/28/2011 01:37 PM
Swarm: magnetic field satellites get their bearings
27 October 2011

ESA’s Swarm satellites, which will unravel the complexities of Earth’s magnetic shield, are being put through their paces to ensure that they will withstand the rigours of space. Marking an important milestone, the first satellite has undergone magnetic testing.

Comprising three identical satellites, Swarm is ESA’s first constellation of Earth observation satellites. They are due to liftoff together on a Rockot launcher from Plesetsk in northern Russia next year.

As the launch date grows closer, all three satellites are being subjected to an intense testing programme at IABG in Ottobrunn, Germany.
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 02/17/2012 01:04 PM
Swarm constellation heads north
17 February 2012

The three satellites that make up ESA’s Swarm magnetic field mission were presented to the media today. Following a demanding testing programme, the satellites were displayed in the cleanroom before they are shipped to Russia for their July launch.
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 08/27/2012 01:11 PM

Astrium fact sheet.
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/29/2012 01:03 PM
Apparently due to the recent Breeze-M failure, the launch of this mission is now planned in February/March 2013. (
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 03/28/2013 10:51 AM
Swarm brochure (BR-302)
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/28/2013 11:34 AM
Swarm SC's and equipment are to be pulled out of storage today for health checks and installation of new software updates to the flight computers that will allow for a potentially longer mission by using more efficient burn and fuel algorithms thus saving move fuel. They will then be placed back into storage before being prepared for shipment to Cosmodrome Plesetsk.
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 09/14/2013 10:36 AM
Swarm launch scheduled for November 14th, 2013
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 09/19/2013 07:12 PM
Launch thread:

Rokot launch with three Swarm satellites - November 14, 2013
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 09/19/2013 07:15 PM
Preparing to launch Swarm

19 September 2013

With the launch of ESA’s Swarm trio set for 14 November, the first satellite has arrived safely at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. This new mission will unravel one of the most mysterious aspects of our planet: the magnetic field.

The arrival marks the beginning of the ‘launch campaign’, which includes an intensive period of tests to make sure that the satellites are fit for launch after their journey from Germany to Russia.

The campaign also includes the careful task of fuelling the satellites and attaching them to the rocket that will deliver them into orbit.

The remaining two satellites will arrive in the next couple of days, the second later today and the third at the weekend.

All three will be launched together on a single Rockot.

Image credit: ESA/G. Spinella
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 12/07/2013 10:43 AM
ESA’s Swarm trio on its way to watch over our planet’s magnetic shield

Swarm constellation deploys booms

End of the beginnig for Swarm trio
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 12/07/2013 10:46 AM
Interview with Rune Floberghagen (mission manager)
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 12/07/2013 10:54 AM
Swarm-ee on the App Store on iTunes
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 02/06/2014 07:07 PM
Swarm heads for new heights

6 February 2014

Since the intensity of solar activity is currently lower than anticipated, the original plan of where to place the satellites at the beginning of science operations has been reviewed recently by the scientific community and experts in ESA.

Low solar activity means the satellites experience lower atmospheric drag, as clearly demonstrated by ESA’s GOCE mission.
Earth's protective shield

Swarm is tasked with measuring and untangling the different magnetic signals that stem from Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.

Launched together, the three identical Swarm satellites were released into adjacent orbits at an altitude of 490 km.

The satellites may be identical, but to optimise sampling in space and time their orbits are different – a key aspect of the mission.

The data acquired from different locations can be used to distinguish between the changes in the magnetic field caused by the Sun’s activity and those signals that originate from inside Earth.

The result for Swarm is a slightly different orbit configuration that will save satellite fuel at the beginning of the mission and offer a better return for science at a later stage.

Two satellites are now being lowered to an altitude of about 462 km and an inclination of 87.35°. They will orbit almost side by side, about 150 km apart as they pass over the equator. Over the life of the mission they will both descend to about 300 km.

The third satellite is being placed in a higher orbit of 510 km and at a different inclination of 87.75°, slightly closer to the pole.

The difference in inclination will cause a slow drift of the upper satellite relative to the path of the lower two at increasing angles. After three years, the fuel saved can be used to slow down the relative orbital drift.
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 05/06/2014 01:23 PM
Swarm 'delivers on magnetic promise'
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 06/21/2014 08:57 AM
Swarm reveals Earth’s changing magnetism

Earth from Space: Special edition (Interview with Nils Olsen from DTU Space)

Image credit: ESA/DTU Space
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: Prober on 07/09/2014 08:39 PM
Looks like Swarm was a very good investment for ESA

some good info coming out.

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Weakening 10 Times Faster Now
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 05/16/2015 08:34 AM

From ESA Bulletin 161 (Page 74)

Swarm continues to acquire excellent science data. Satellite constellation maintenance operations are proceeding, this is particularly relevant and important to achieving the bestpossible estimate of all contributors to the total magnetic field. Last year, early mission data were used to derive candidate solutions for the 2015 International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) model. The IGRF is a main field model that (by convention) is updated every five years, and which is used by practically all applications communities and services in need of geomagnetic data. IGRF-12, as the final 2015 model is called, is based on a combination of Swarm, historical satellite data and ground-based observatory data. In addition, a Swarm Initial Field Model, which includes also the computation of the crustal magnetic field at high spatial resolution, has been producedand made available to the community.
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 06/22/2015 03:25 PM
Core and crust from Swarm

The image highlights the new crust (right) and core (centre) magnetic field models from Swarm. These preliminary results are based only on the first year of data.

Related article:

- Magnetic complexity begins to untangle
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 03/21/2017 09:41 AM
Unravelling Earth's magnetic field
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: bolun on 02/22/2018 06:28 PM

Swarm trio becomes a quartet

With the aim of making the best possible use of existing satellites, ESA and Canada have made a deal that turns Swarm into a four-satellite mission to shed even more light on space weather and features such as the aurora borealis.

In orbit since 2013, ESA’s three identical Swarm satellites have been returning a wealth of information about how our magnetic field is generated and how it protects us from dangerous electrically charged atomic particles in the solar wind.

Canada’s Cassiope satellite carries three instrument packages, one of which is e-POP.  It delivers information on space weather which complements that provided by Swarm. Therefore, the mission teams began looking into how they could work together to make the most of the two missions.

To make life easier, it also just so happens that Cassiope’s orbit is ideal to improve Swarm’s readings.

And now, thanks to this international cooperation and formalised through ESA’s Third Party Mission programme, e-POP has effectively become a fourth element of the Swarm mission. It joins Swarm’s Alpha, Bravo and Charlie satellites as Echo.

Image credit: Canadian Space Agency, 2018
Title: Re: ESA - Swarm updates
Post by: eeergo on 11/16/2018 10:04 AM