A new satellite, which is the first to be specially designed for monitoring ocean conditions, is to be launched on Saturday (10 June).
GV: Large rolling wave.
GV & SV's: Ship in heavy seas. (4 SHOTS)
GV: Icebergs. (4 SHOTS)
GV: Men on deck of ship in rough conditions. (2 SHOTS)
SV PULL BACK TO GV: Model of Seasat satellite moving over ocean and into space.
SV & CU's: Seasat satellite being assembled. (3 SHOTS)
GV & SV's: Hauling fish aboard ship.(3 SHOTS)
GV: Trawler with nets dragging behind.
GV: Off-shore oil platform.
AERIAL VIEW: Aircraft carrier. (2 SHOTS)
AERIAL VIEW: Coastguard helicopter hovering over small launch.
GV: Helicopter landing on coastguard cutter.
GV INT: Seasat satellite in acoustic chamber.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A new satellite, which is the first to be specially designed for monitoring ocean conditions, is to be launched on Saturday (10 June).
SYNOPSIS: Three quarters of the Earth is covered by water, but still very little is known about the seas and the weather. This means that each year hundreds of ships are lost at sea because of unexpected bad weather. The new satellite called Seasat, has been designed to improve weather forecasts, to route ships to avoid bad weather, and to save fishing fleets time and fuel by pinpointing the position of shoals. It will even detect small icebergs and navigable openings in icefields. Seasat will also measure wave heights, surface winds, temperature and currents.
It can help oil exploration companies to select the best site for offshore rigs and provide warnings of storms which might threaten the platforms and disrupt operations. t he new satellite has cost 20-million Pounds (36.5 million Dollars), and is made by a subsidiary of Lockhead company. A study of the benefits of such a system carried out for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which sponsored the Seasat tests, predicts that up to 1,100-million Pounds (2,000 million Dollars) could be saved in the USA alone by the year 2000.
Seasat will circle the earth 14 times a day, covering 95 percent of the sea every 36 hours. It will gather data through five microwave sensors rather than by photography. These sensors measure the roughness of the sea which can be converted into wind speed and direction to an accuracy of two metres per second.
It can also measure the temperature to within one degree centigrade and report wave heights to within less than a metre from an altitude of 800 kilometres (430 nautical miles). It is expected to have a minimum life of a year.