Sentinel-5 Precursor, the newest satellite developed for the Copernicus global monitoring programme, was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia on October 13.
Sentinel-5P will collect and provide timely atmospheric chemistry data for Copernicus and features the TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) instrument, developed by Airbus DS Netherlands for the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Netherlands Space Office. TROPOMI will measure ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, methane, formaldehyde and other atmospheric pollutants at a higher resolution than previous instruments. The Sentinel-5p mission will map this data daily, in resolution as high as 7 kilometres x 3.5 kilometres, providing this data ahead of Sentinel-5 coming online in 2021. The data Sentinel-5P collects will be made open and available to users free of charge.
“With Sentinel-5 Precursor in orbit, we have achieved another important milestone that takes the European Commission-led Copernicus programme into a new area: observing the air that we breathe,” said Josef Aschbacher, Director of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes.
“Without the substantial contribution of the Netherlands to the TROPOMI instrument on board this satellite, we would not have been able to build this satellite. And it was a European collaboration of 30 high-tech companies under the leadership of Airbus Defence and Space which made the mission possible.”
Copernicus, a joint undertaking between the European Commission and European Space Agency, aims to acquire continuous and accurate Earth observation data across a range of objectives, including environmental management, climate change mitigation and civil security. Other currently active Sentinel missions have included Sentinel satellites 1 through 6, collecting data for land monitoring, topography, sea-surface height and radar imaging for land and ocean services. Read more about other Sentinel missions at the ESA’s overview page.