Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

ESA Earth Explorer Mission


  • Randy Showstack


The European Space Agency (ESA) announced on 3 June that it has decided to develop and launch a constellation of three magnetometry satellites as an “Earth explorer” mission in its Living Planet Program.The constellation, to be known as SWARM, could provide the best-ever survey of Earth's geomagnetic field and its temporal evolution, according to the agency.

The mission, which would launch in 2009, will take high-precision and high-resolution measurements of the magnetic field, and other measurements that could help to study the composition and processes of the Earth's interior. The mission also will analyze the Sun's influence within the Earth system. This knowledge could be useful in areas such as space weather and radiation hazards.