Earth Observation Mission News
‘Ocean’ satellite Sentinel-6A beginning to take shape
30 August 2018
The integration of Sentinel-6A, the first of two satellites to continue measuring sea levels from 2020, has reached a new milestone and its critical phase: the propulsion module has been "mated" with the main structure of the satellite at Airbus.
In a complex operation, the Airbus satellite specialists hoisted the approximately five-metre-high satellite platform with pin-point precision over the drive module, which had already been positioned. The two components were then fixed in place and assembled. Before this could happen, the propulsion module, which includes the engines, control devices and a 240-litre tank with an innovative fuel management system, had to undergo technical acceptance, since this subsystem can no longer be accessed once it has been integrated. The propulsion module now needs to be ‘hooked up', which will then be followed by the system tests.
Image credit: Airbus - Sentinel-6, built by Airbus (Friedrichshafen/Germany) will provide high accuracy altimetry for measuring global sea-surface height.