Spanish engineering and technology group SENER will design, manufacture and test devices for assembly of the Biomass satellite which is a mission from the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Earth Explorer program.
Courtesy of SENER
SENER will develop all the devices for assembly of the satellite structure, including vertical transport equipment, assembly and disassembly of satellite panels, assembly and disassembly of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which is the main research instrument, and the container for transporting the radar. The devices for assembly of the radar constitute the main challenge of the contract, because it contains a large antenna with a diameter of 12 meters. The whole satellite will weigh 1,170 kg and have a dimension of 10 x 12 x 20 m.
The Biomass mission is aimed at finding data on changes in forest biomass and on the scale of deforestation. Reliable data will provide a better understanding of carbon cycle in the environment and the global warming processes. This data will also form the basis for UN initiatives intended to reduce carbon emissions resulting from deforestation in developing countries. Biomass will enable the creation of 3D forest maps. The mission is scheduled to start in 2021 and will last at least 5 years.