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Radar Cluster for Earth Remote Sensing (RaCERS)

Running

Running

Organisational Unit
Activity Type
13 September 2023

Duration: 12 months

Objective

Spaceborne radar is central to Earth environmental monitoring and forecasting: for natural disasters, severe weather, snow/ice cover, soil moisture, vegetation canopy, surface winds, ocean circulation and much more. Space radars today, including SAR imagers, altimeters and scatterometers, are typically designed with mission-unique elements at high cost. No current systems combine SAR/ALT/SCAT and no compact radar engines offer multiple radar types or can alter their functions in flight. GeoOptics Switzerland (GOS) is making key space radar innovations on two fronts: advanced instrumentation combining all radar signal generation and processing functions in a tiny, low-cost module, and patented observing system architectures comprising swarms of cooperating nanosats to achieve new observation types and performance levels far beyond what’s possible today. At the core is our Radar-On-Module for Earth Observation (ROMEO) engine, a palm-size device costing <€80.000 that offers a full suite of SAR/ALT/SCAT functions. An early version is now operating. In addition, we are well along in designing a radarsat swarm concept called Cellular Observational Altimetry/Scatterometry Technology (COAST) in which groups of 16U nanosats operate in concert to make SAR/ALT/SCAT observations with daily coverage 10-50x greater than now possible, at below today’s mission costs. Innovative observation types include concurrent multi-directional scatterometry for precise ocean vector winds, and multi-cell interferometric SAR (InSAR) for high-resolution wide-swath altimetry. GOS is continuing ROMEO development with plans to offer the full suite of radar observations by early 2025. We are currently funded to fly a prototype ROMEO engine in 2025 to validate its radar functions in space. We are ready now to begin detailed design of a cluster of a dozen full-function 16U cells to offer a wide range of SAR/ALT/SCAT observations in an operational system by 2028, at a cost below €100 million.

Contract number
4000142473
OSIP Idea Id
I-2023-00551
Related OSIP Campaign
Innovative Mission Concepts Enabled by Swarms of CubeSats
Main application area
EO
Budget
100000€
Radar Cluster for Earth Remote Sensing (RaCERS)