Update from Cluster Spacecraft Operations Manager Bruno Sousa.
It is my pleasure to share with you the first images of the Earth seen from one of our four Cluster satellites, Samba. We acquired them last night – and we concluded that the on-board VMC camera actually has a wider field of view then the technical specs reported. We will see more of the Earth in the future, as we will have a better timing on Saturday.
It turns out the operation is of the camera quite simple and very fast (in total 15 minutes), and we have also devised a way to use the camera in the future without interfering with the prime scientific payload activities.
I would like to acknowledge the work of Charlie Amin preparing and executing this commissioning campaign and Bill Fairclough processing the data as it arrived on ground – and thank the rest of the team including the ‘spacons’ – our spacecraft controllers – who provided much support. We will work more on the exposure and the post-processing of the images… ENJOY!