Successful Launch of the Swarm Constellation Carrying Canadian Science and Technology

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013


The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is proud to announce the successful launch of Swarm - the European Space Agency's (ESA) first constellation of Earth Observation satellites. Lift off took place at 7:02 a.m. (EST) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia.

ESA's Swarm mission is designed to precisely measure the magnetic fields generated from Earth's core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere. The three satellites will accomplish their mission using the Canadian Electric Field Instrument (EFI), designed and built by COM DEV based on instruments developed by the University of Calgary. COM DEV supplied the Canadian EFI under an ESA contract.

"Early on, the Canadian Space Agency supported the University of Calgary in the initial development of the technology related to the Canadian EFI. Years later, as a result of the passion and dedication of the scientists who worked on the project, the Canadian EFI is now ready to take a leap in space and support the very demanding requirements of the Swarm mission. Canada is proud to join Europe in this unique endeavour" stated the President of the Canadian Space Agency, Walter Natynczyk.

In addition to its role as lead scientific institute for the Canadian EFI, the University of Calgary, supported by the CSA, will take an active part in the mission by ensuring the optimal functioning of the instruments. Canadian scientists will use the measurements from the Canadian EFI to gain a better understanding of the processes that take place in the ionosphere; how space weather influences space plasma around Earth and how this can impact our daily lives.

Canada's industrial and scientific contribution to the Swarm mission was enabled by the Canada-ESA Cooperation Agreement.

Swarm is one of ESA's Earth Explorer missions, which are developed in direct response to issues raised by the scientific community. They aim to improve our understanding of how Earth works as a system and the impact human activity is having on natural Earth processes.

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