ERS-2 (European Remote-Sensing satellite) is the successor, and basically a copy, of the ERS-1 mission, with the addition of two new instruments and the improvement of those already used by its predecessor. ERS-2 was launched on April 21st, 1995, aboard an Ariane 4 carrier, from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, and shared the same orbital plan as ERS-1.
The new instruments were the GOME (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment) spectrometer, designed to study the chemical composition of the atmosphere, and the ATSR-2 (Along Track Scanning Radiometer), capable also of carrying out measurements related to the vegetation and the chlorophyll.
After a few failures, the ERS-2 mission ended on September 5th, 2011. The satellite was moved to a lower orbit, where the risk of collision with other “colleagues” is very low. ERS-2 followed the road mapped out by its “older brother”, but it also carried out some new tasks, such as the measurement of ozone levels and the monitoring of changes in the vegetation.
Same as it happened with ERS-1, was also involved in this mission for the processing of the data acquired by ERS-2 by the I-PAF and I-PAC facilities, located by the Geodesy Centre of the Italian Space Agency in Matera.