Dornier Satellite Systeme (DSS) has signed a DM1.5 billion ($1 billion) contract with the European Space Agency to develop the instrument payload for the Envisat 1 polar-orbiting environmental satellite, which is scheduled to be launched by an Arianespace Ariane 5 in 1999.

The 8,000kg spacecraft - being built by Matra Marconi Space (MMS) in Bristol, UK - will carry ten major instruments, weighing over 2,000kg, and operate with 2kW of power. The instruments will include the advanced synthetic- aperture radar and global ozone- monitoring by occultation of stars, being developed by MMS under a $390 million subcontract from DSS parent Daimler-Benz Aerospace.

Source: Flight International