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Technical Paper

Thermal Design of CryoSat, the first ESA Earth Explorer Opportunity Mission

CryoSat is the first satellite of ESA's Living Planet Programme realised in the framework of the Earth Explorer Opportunity Missions. CryoSat is a radar altimeter mission dedicated to determine trends in the ice masses of the Earth. The overall spacecraft configuration was driven by the budget constraints applicable for the opportunity mission, the high inclination orbit with drifting orbit plane and the stringent stability requirements for the radar altimeter antennas. Innovative thermal design solutions were needed for the following items: The instrument antennas have to comply with very stringent pointing stability requirements. The star trackers need to be mounted at a thermally adverse position and still have to be maintained on low temperature levels.