Figure 1: Artist’s impression of CIMR. [Credits: ESA]
The Copencius Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) is a high priority candidate satellite mission, within the European Commission's (COM) Copernicus Expansion program. EC recently outlined new objectives pertaining to improved spatial and temporal coverage of sea ice and Arctic environment, in order to aid Arctic user communities. Currently, CIMR is in the preparatory phase, with an estimated launch date in the 2025+ time frame.
CIMR satellites will contain conically scanning microwave radiometer imagers, able to photograph ice and sea covered regions. In order to maintain a high swath throughout orbital transit, the instrument will rotate continuously about a local vertical axis. There are three main parameters which will be sought by CIMR, the Sea Surface Temperature (SST), the Sea-Surface Salinity (SSS) and the Sea Ice Concentration (SIC). Together, they will allow European researchers to improve their understanding of changing arctic conditions and how we can support people most affected in those regions.
CIMR’s onboard radiometer imager will operate across five spectral bands, corresponding to frequencies of 1.4, 6.9, 10.65, 18.7, and 36.5 GHz. Each target parameter will be imaged at a different resolution. The SST will be recorded with a spatial resolution of 15 km, with a sub-daily temporal sampling period. SIC will be more precisely recorded with a resolution of 5 km and also a sub-daily observation period. SSS will also be observed at a spatial resolution of 5 km, but with sampling only occurring, once per month.
CIMR is expected to follow quasi-polar orbit, tracing a near circular, sun-synchronous trajectory.
The CIMR satellite buses will be of previous Copernicus mission heritage, with the prime manufacturer remaining Thales Alenia Space. CIMR will be designed with a nominal lifetime of 7 years, producing sub-daily Arctic and Antarctic coverage. Current expectations limit the number of satellites in the mission to three, allowing for continuous day-and-night monitoring, while flying in convoy with MITOP 5G satellite B.
Sea-ice surface temperature
The CIMR system consists of up to 3 Satellites dedicated to day-and-night monitoring of land, ice and oceans flying in loose convoy with METOP SG satellite B, launched in the frame 2025+, each one with an expected lifetime of 7 years.
Figure 2: Simulation of the expected CIMR global coverage over the Arctic highlighting the number of revisits each day with no hole at the pole (Lavergne, T., Pinol Sole, M. and Donlon, C.: Daily coverage of CIMR (Arctic, Antarctic, and Global views), doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.7749284.v1, 2019). [Credits: https://www.esa.int/Space_in_Member_States/Spain ]