G-CLASS: a candidate for ESA’s Earth Explorer 10 mission opportunity (G-CLASS)

  2019-05-01 - 2020-06-30

Cranfield’s G-CLASS mission is one of three candidates currently in competitive Phase 0 (feasibility study) for the European Space Agency (ESA). One of these three missions will be chosen by 2022 for full development, and be launched in 2027-28. G-CLASS proposes a radar satellite which will placed in geo-synchronous orbit with a continuous view of Europe and Africa.

Radar is widely used on satellites in lower orbits, but these satellites give relatively poor coverage of low latitudes (e.g. Africa) and only provide snapshots every few days or weeks. G-CLASS could provide much more flexible imaging and is planned to study the diurnal water cycle – for example the rapid development of intense storms or the change in soil moisture / surface wetness during the day. Its data could help meteorologists forecast intense storms more accurately, and improve the management of water resources especially in drought-prone areas like the Mediterranean basin and Africa.

Project manager Project members Financiers
  •   Cranfield University
  •   CIMA Research Foundation
  •   Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - lstituto per ii Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell'Ambiente (CNR- IREA)
  •   Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR e.V.)
  •   ENVEO Environmental Earth Observation Information Technology GmbH
  •   Politecnico di Milano - DEIS
  •   TU Delft
  •   UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as represented by its component body the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
  •   University of Alicante
  •   University of Firenze
  •   Universita degli Studi di Genova, Dipartimento di lngegneria Civile, Chimica e Ambientale - DICCA-UNIGE
  •   University of Reading