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During 1989-1991 studies were undertaken for the design of a dedicated German satellite, Atmos, which would have concentrated investigations on the Earth's atmosphere. From a 775-km, sun-synchronous orbit, Atmos was to have been launched in the mid-1990's with four major Earth observation systems: the Advanced Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (AMAS), the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Sounding (MIPAS), the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography (SCIAMACHY), and the Reflective Optics Imaging Spectrometer (ROSIS). The first three devices were designed to analyze atmospheric chemistry, whereas the objective of ROSIS was to return moderate and high resolution, multispectral photographs of the Earth's surface. The Atmos program has been reoriented to provide some or all of the above mentioned instruments to ESA's Envisat satellite (Section 4.3.1).

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