How did the Earth observation mission of Klaus Haselmann prepare the...

How did the Earth observation mission of Klaus Haselmann prepare the...
How did the Earth observation mission of Klaus Haselmann prepare the...
Klaus Haselmann, this year’s Nobel Prize winner in Physics, helped shape the groundbreaking Earth observation mission that paved the way for the modern study of our planet’s environment.

Digital Trend said that the German oceanographer and climate modeler was awarded the prestigious award for his contribution to the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, which enabled scientists to measure the natural fluctuations of the climate and better predict climate change.

Haselman won half of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics last week, with the other half shared by Siokoro Manabi and Giorgio Baresi for their own research on turbulence and fluctuations in physical systems.

Haselmann, now 89 and still active at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, was also a member of an expert team that in the 1970s helped the European Space Agency (ESA) create its Earth observation program and build its first mission to study Earth from above.

“We send our most sincere congratulations to Professor Dr. Haselmann on the Nobel Prize he deserves,” ESA Director General Josef Asbacher said in a statement.

Also as a member of the Space Agency’s High Level Advisory Committee on Earth Observation, Haselman contributed to the development of the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-1) and its successor, ERS-2.

For this mission, Haselman has developed a method for measuring ocean waves using synthetic aperture radar imaging, the European Space Agency said in the statement.

The SAR instruments send a signal to Earth and then measure its reflection back. These instruments are increasingly used by environmental monitoring satellites today, and the technology developed by Hasselman is still used in current Earth observation satellites such as the European Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission.

Coincidentally, the ERS-1 mission celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, Aschbacher said in the statement.

Launched on July 17, 1991, the space agency said the ERS-1 was at the time the most advanced spacecraft in Europe.

In addition to the synthetic aperture imaging radar that was used to detect the wave, the 5,256 lb satellite carried (2,384 kg) also had a radar altimeter (a sensor that sends a radar pulse to the ground and measures distance based on how long the signal takes to return) and a wind scatterometer ( which measures how the radar signal is affected by disturbances in the Earth’s atmosphere).

The mission produced nine years’ worth of data on Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, ice coverage and ground conditions before it failed in March 2000, having exceeded its life expectancy by 8 years.

Its successor, ERS-2, was already in orbit at the time, allowing the European Space Agency to continue collecting data about the changing planet smoothly. ESR-2 was launched in 1995, and it also carried a sensor dedicated to monitoring the ozone layer.

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