Ice Mission

Mission Status: Operational
Launch Date: 08 April 2010
Instrument Type: Precision orbit, radar altimeters

CryoSat is the first Earth Explorer mission and the first ESA mission dedicated to ice. Its main objective is to monitor Earth's cryosphere, the area of the planet covered by snow and sea ice. CryoSat measures the extent of thinning Arctic ice, observes the seasonal cycle of Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice mass and determines the contribution that the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are making to mean global rise in sea level.

Scientific Instruments

SAR/Inteferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL): Measures the thickness of sea ice and the elevation of ice sheets and glaciers
Magnetometer: Used for magnetic torquer control and as rate sensors.
Star Tracker (STR): An optical camera system designed to measure the orientation of the satellite with respect to the stars.


Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integration by Satellite (DORIS): Used to determine the precise position of the satellite.
Laser Retro Reflector (LRR): Used to precisely determine the satellite's position in orbit.
related data applications