See the enormous solar panels of this Earth-monitoring satellite

The satellite’s 11-meter solar wing from its folded stowed configuration allows it to fit in the rocket fairing.

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) are preparing to launch a new Earth-monitoring satellite called EarthCARE which will study clouds and aerosols to see how they interact with the atmosphere and contribute to its temperature. As part of testing the satellite’s hardware before launch, the craft’s solar panel wing was recently unfurled for the first time.

EarthCARE has a large set of instruments for taking measurements, including an atmospheric lidar, a Doppler cloud radar, a multispectral imager, and a broadband radiometer. This range of instruments is necessary to understand the complex relationship between clouds, aerosols, radiation, and climate change. But this many instruments require a lot of power, hence why the satellite is also equipped with a huge five-panel solar wing.

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Source: digital trends

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