Challenging Mini-Satellite Payload for Geo-scientific Research and Applications program
Launch Date: July 15, 2000
The CHAMP satellite was launched with a Russian COSMOS launch vehicle on July 15, 2000.
CCHAMP generated, for the first time, simultaneously highly precise gravity and magnetic field measurements over a 10 year period. This allows the tracing of spatial and time variations of both fields for a long time. The provision of regularly radio occultation measurements of the atmosphere and ionosphere are used in a pre-operational phase for weather prediction and space weather monitoring purposes. The CHAMP mission will open a new era in geopotential research and will become a significant contributor to the Decade of Geopotentials. The CHAMP mission will open a new era in geopotential research and will become a significant contributor to the Decade of Geopotentials. It will perform the following three tasks: 1) Mapping of the Earth's global long to medium wavelength gravity field and temporal variations with applications in the geophysics, geodesy and oceanography; 2) Mapping of the Earth's global magnetic field and temporal variations with applications in geophysics and solar terrestrial physics; 3) Atmosphere/ionosphere sounding with applications in global climate studies, weather forecasting, disaster research and navigation.
CHAMP-derived data will serve as an ideal basis for a further refinement of modern satellite surveying methods and constructing digital terrain models covering large land and ice areas for remote sensing applications and for cartography. The evaluation of all three kinds of signals CHAMP will be observing will allow a complete and integrated modeling of the structure and dynamics of the Earth core and mantle. Such an improvement will strongly enhance studies concerning the structure and composition of the Earth's interior and will open new insights and application areas in geodesy, solid Earth physics and oceanography.
Within the next few years, a number of dedicated satellite missions will be available for gravity field determination from space (CHAMP, GRACE, GOCE). CHAMP is a cooperative project with Germany with NASA providing a GPS Blackjack Flight receiver built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).