DOMEX-2 Thermal Design, Testing and Commissioning in Support to the SMOS Mission 2009-01-2375
In recent years there is growing interest, on the part of the remote sensing community, in using the Antarctic area, for calibrating and validating data of satellite-borne microwave radiometers. With a view to the launching of the ESA's SMOS satellite, which is a satellite designed to observe soil moisture over the Earth landmasses, salinity over the oceans and to provide observations over regions of ice and snow, an experimental activity called DOMEX was started at Dome-C Antarctica.
The main scientific objectives of this activity are to provide microwave data for SMOS satellite calibration and in particular: the continuous acquisition of a calibrated time-series of microwave and thermal Infrared (8-14micron) emission over an entire Austral annual cycle, the acquisition of a long time-series of snow measurements and the acquisition of relevant local atmospheric measurements from the local weather station.
This paper is focusing on the thermal design, analysis and testing of Domex-2.
The major drivers of the design are the extreme environmental conditions of Concordia station, with air temperature at −75 [°C], sky temperature (no clouds) −90 [°C], sun entering field of view of the instruments and the stringent requirements of the equipments which need to be maintained in the [−10°C; 40°C] range with a stability requirement of 1[°C/hr].