CryoSat, a specialist radar altimetry mission was launched in April 2010 and was originally proposed by CPOM. It is dedicated to measuring changes in polar sea ice thickness and the mass balance of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Accurately measuring these is an essential part in understanding, monitoring and predicting climate change.
Sentinel-1a, which carries an advanced all weather imaging radar was launched in April 2014 and is the first satellite of Europe's new Copernicus programme which are delivering a wealth of data and imagery. During its first year of operations, the short 12 day imaging repeat period and large spatial coverage has delivered an invaluable new resource which is revolutionising our ability to monitor change in speed of the ice streams on the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Europe's satellite monitoring capability will be improved even further with the launch of Sentinel-1b in April 2016. Combined, Sentinel-1a and b will provide the capability to image the earth every 6 days.