Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab
Very often we forget about the crucial ground segment of space activities. We have to position the satellites relative to the Earth as well as calibrate the data retrieved by satellites against in-situ data, data collected directly on the ground. Ground based data are hard to collect in areas like the Arctic. Cryosat-2 will collect data from these unfriendly and remote polar areas.
Hey look! My friend Rene Forsberg from Denmark drilling in ice!
For those of you who have a hard time picturing the hardship in collecting ground based data I can offer the enlightening illustrations added by my friend Don: Ground based data are hard to collect in areas like the Arctic, all night biker bars and in the middle of oncoming freeway traffic. Hope this makes it clear exactly how HARD it is get those damned data. :-)