Challenging Minisatellite Payload

Project Description
CHAMP (CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload) is a German small satellite mission
for geoscientific and atmospheric research and applications, managed by GFZ.
With its highly precise, multifunctional and complementary payload elements
(magnetometer, accelerometer, star sensor, GPS receiver, laser retro reflector,
ion drift meter) and its orbit characteristics (near polar, low altitude, long
duration) CHAMP will generate for the first time simultaneously highly precise
gravity and magnetic field measurements over a 5 years period. This will allow
to detect besides the spatial variations of both fields also their variability
with time. The CHAMP mission will open a new era in geopotential research and
will become a significant contributor to the Decade of Geopotentials. In
addition with the radio occultation measurements onboard the spacecraft and the
infrastructure developed on ground, CHAMP will become a pilot mission for the
pre-operational use of space-borne GPS observations for atmospheric and
ionospheric research and applications in weather prediction and space weather
monitoring.