The Swarm mission will provide the most detailed data yet on the geomagnetic field of the Earth and its temporal evolution, giving new insights into improving our knowledge of the Earth's interior and climate. The three spacecraft necessary for this mission are scheduled for launch from Plesetsk with a Rockot launcher in 2012. Astrium was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop and build the three satellites of the Swarm mission. The Swarm constellation satellites will be placed in three different polar orbits, two flying side by side at an altitude of 450km and a third at an altitude of 530km. High-precision and high-resolution measurements of the strength, direction and variations of the Earth's magnetic field, complemented by precise navigation, accelerometer and electric field measurements, will provide valuable data essential for modeling the geomagnetic field and its interaction with other physical aspects of the Earth system. The results will offer a unique view of the inside of the Earth from space, enabling the composition and processes of the interior to be studied in detail and increase our knowledge of atmospheric processes and ocean circulation patterns that affect climate and weather.
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