The ESA's ENVISAT satellite was launched on March 1, 2002. Just weeks after celebrating its tenth year in orbit, communication with the satellite was suddenly lost and the end of the mission had to be declared.

The Envisat programme was a continuation of the ERS-1 and ERS-2 missions. It was primarily intended for scientific research.
Along with instruments which were already present on the ERS satellites (ASAR, RA-2, AATSR), ENVISAT also had onboard a range of other instruments, including GOMOS (Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars), MIPA (Michelson Onterferometer for Passive Atmospheric sounding) and SCIAMACHY (SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CartograpHY).

The MERIS (MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) instrument is a programmable spectrometer allowing data recording in 15 spectral bands in the 390 – 1040 nm range and with a spatial resolution of 1040 x 1200 m for marine applications and of 2360 x 300 m for land and coastal applications..

The 10 instruments onboard Envisat were designed to study Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere and ice caps. The collected data from the various sensors can be used to:

• study environmental and climate changes on Earth at the local, regional and global levels
• contribute to the management and monitoring of all raw materials, whether renewable or not
• continue measurements to serve the meteorological community
• acquire a better understanding of the dynamic and structure of the Eearth's crust and interior.

Among the parameters that can be studied, we can mention: ocean colour, cloud cover, ozone layer thickness, greenhouse gas emissions, terrestrial biomass, iceberg topography, wave height, soil moisture content or the top-of-atmosphere irradiance.

altitude: 800 km
inclination: 98,6°
orbit: sun-synchronous
orbit period: ±100 min
revisit time (MERIS): 3 days
service life: 1/03/2002 - 9/05/2012

Mission website

Envisat technical site

Access to data : ESA Earth Online Data Access

Access to Envisat data