Airbus will provide radar equipment for the new Copernicus ROSE-L mission, the ROSE-L will be equipped with the largest planar space radar antenna ever built.
Airbus has agreed with Thales Alenia Space to create advanced radar equipment for the "Radar Observatory System for Europe in L-band" (ROSE-L) mission. Airbus Defense and Space in Friedrichshafen (Germany) will head an industrial consortium that includes companies from nine countries for the radar instrument to deliver the project. The contract awarded to Airbus by Thales Alenia Space, the main contractor of the mission, is worth about 190 million Euros.
With the launch scheduled for July 2027, the Copernicus ROSE-L mission will carry a range of active-stage synthetic aperture radar devices. ROSE-L will provide day and night monitoring of land, ocean and glaciers from 690 km polar orbit, as well as providing more frequent imaging with high spatial resolution and precision. It will use advanced radar techniques such as polarimetry and interferometry to create data products. The radar antenna measures 11X3,6 meters (about the size of a ping-pong table) and will be the largest planar antenna ever built.
Over its 7,5 year lifetime, the ROSE-L mission will serve the needs of many users, including the European Union's Copernicus Land Monitoring and Emergency Management services. It will provide important data on soil moisture, precision agriculture, food security, forest biomass and changes in land use. In addition, it will monitor polar ice sheets, glaciers, sea glaciers and snow cover.