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SAC-D (AQUARIUS)

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SAC-D (AQUARIUS) is classified as:


NORAD ID: 37673
Int'l Code: 2011-024A
Perigee: 658.1 km
Apogee: 660.1 km
Inclination: 98.0 °
Period: 97.8 minutes
Semi major axis: 7030 km
RCS: 9.6669 m2 (large)
Launch date: June 10, 2011
Source: Argentina (ARGN)
Launch site: AIR FORCE WESTERN TEST RANGE (AFWTR)

Built by Argentina, the SAC-D satellite is equipped with multiple scientific instruments from several countries including NASA's Aquarius sensor package designed to make exceptionally precise global measurements of salt content at the ocean surface. The large oval antenna reflector and three microwave radiometers at the heart of Aquarius will work like highly sensitive radio receivers to detect variations in the electrical conductivity of seawater, enabling scientists to deduce the ocean salinity levels. The satellite will orbit the planet every 98 minutes, covering a swath 242 miles [389 km] wide for Aquarius to accumulate entire global maps of the planet each week. Scientists have collected a few million measurements of ocean salinity over the last hundred years, but vast stretches of the planet have never been sampled. Gaining a complete picture every seven days should revolutionize scientists' knowledge of the oceans by unveiling for the first time how salinity changes across the entire globe month-to-month, season-to-season and year-to-year.
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NASA's NSSDC Master Catalog

Two Line Element Set (TLE):
1 37673U 11024A   18318.91186501 +.00000094 +00000-0 +22348-4 0  9992
2 37673 098.0112 324.4824 0001486 060.7674 000.4402 14.72858000399382
Source of the keplerian elements: AFSPC