EU’s first Sentinel EO satellite to launch in April

By on 21 January, 2014
Sentinel-1, the first Earth observation satellite to be built for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security ‘Copernicus’ programme. © ESA/ATG Medialab.

Sentinel-1, the first Earth observation satellite to be built for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security ‘Copernicus’ programme. © ESA/ATG Medialab.

 

A date has been announced for the roll-out of the European Union’s multi-billion-euro Earth observation project, Copernicus.

Copernicus will fly a constellation of satellites known as ‘Sentinels’, to take a continuous ‘health check’ on the planet and to acquire data that can help inform and enforce EU policies.

The first spacecraft in the series, Sentinel 1, will go into orbit, most likely, in early April, according to the BBC.

The Sentinel-1 mission is a polar-orbiting satellite system for the continuation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operational applications.

Sentinel-1 is a C-band imaging radar mission to provide an all-weather day-and-night supply of imagery for Copernicus user services.

Dedicated to Copernicus, Sentinel-1 will ensure the continuity of C-band SAR data, building on ESA’s and Canada’s heritage SAR systems on ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and Radarsat.

The mission will benefit numerous services. For example, services that relate to the monitoring of Arctic sea-ice extent, routine sea-ice mapping, surveillance of the marine environment, including oil-spill monitoring and ship detection for maritime security, monitoring land-surface for motion risks, mapping for forest, water and soil management and mapping to support humanitarian aid and crisis situations.

Sentinel-1 is being realised by an industrial consortium led by Thales Alenia Space Italy as Prime Contractor, with Astrium Germany responsible for the C-SAR payload incorporating the central radar electronics subsystem developed by Astrium UK.

Sentinel-1 will be launched on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

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