EnMAP successfully launched

(04 Apr 2022) The EnMAP hyperspectral satellite developed and built at OHB was launched from Cape Canaveral (Florida, USA) on board a Falcon 9 rocket from U.S. space company SpaceX. The satellite separated from its launch vehicle just 15 minutes after lift-off. First contact was established over a ground station in Svalbard, Norway, 60 minutes later.

The EnMAP environmental satellite is the first hyperspectral satellite developed and built in Germany. With its two spectrometers, which have 242 recording bands in the wavelength range from 420 to 2,450 nanometers, the satellite can record the solar radiation reflected from the Earth's surface from visible light to the short-wave infrared range in a spectral resolution not previously available. The hyperspectral data makes the invisible visible and can show, for example, which minerals are in an area, whether plants are sufficiently supplied with nutrients or soils are too dry, but also whether a body of water is contaminated with pollutants.

The EnMAP environmental mission is being lead-managed by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bonn on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). OHB-System AG was awarded the contract for developing and engineering the satellite and the hyperspectral instrument. The mission is under the scientific direction of GeoForschungszentrum Potsdam (GFZ). Three DLR institutes and facilities have been tasked with constructing and operating the ground segment: the German Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen will be carrying out and monitoring satellite operations, while the German Remote Sensing Data Center and the Remote Sensing Technology Institute will be responsible for archiving, processing and validating the satellite data and making it available for scientific research. Companies and government agencies will also be testing the data and preparing future services. The future use of EnMAP hyperspectral data by universities and scientific institutions and the development of special applications will be supported by funding programmes initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK).

Reference: OHB PR

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