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Cryosat 2


Designation 36508 / 10013A
Launch date 8 Apr 2010
Country of origin Europe
Mission Scientific: Remote sensing
Perigee/Apogee 716/735 km (not sun-synchronous)
Inclination 92°
Period 99.2 min
Launch vehicle Dnepr #14

To replace the lost Cryosat. Should cost EUR 106 million. Includes 85 improvements compared to the original Cryosat.

To measure changes in the thickness of ice sheets and polar ocean sea-ice cover with unprecedented accuracy (1-3 cm). To test predictions of ice melting due to global warming.

Main instrument: the Siral2 radar Altimeter, manufactured by EADS Space, has a 250 m resolution and interferometry capabilities.

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor EADS Astrium
Mass at launch 737 kg
Mass in orbit  
Solar array fixed to satellite body like a roof
DC power  
Design lifetime 3.5 years

Two radar antennas.

TT&C in S-band. Data in X-band.


SAR/Interferometric Radar ALtimeter provided by Alcatel Space. 70 kg.
Designed to measure the Earth's diverse ice-fields (mass and thickness), derived from the Poseidon oceanographic altimeter.

The Doris instrument will be used to precisely determine the orbit of the satellite, with the help of signals sent by earth stations.

A small laser retroreflector will also be onboard.

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