Industry days for Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 missions

7 November 2007

ESA and the prime contractors will inform industry and institutes of the various subsystem and equipment opportunities as well as procurement planning and procedures for the two GMES missions: Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3, at two events to be held at Space Expo at ESTEC in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 26 and 27 November 2007.

The events are open to companies and institutes which are registered EMITS users or from the European Commission’s Framework Programme’s seven participating states. Registration is required (see below).

GMES and the Sentinel missions

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative responds to Europe’s needs for geo-spatial information services by bringing together the capacity of Europe to collect and manage data and information on the environment and civil security, for the benefit of European citizens.

As the main partner to the European Commission (EC), ESA is the implementing agency for the GMES space component, which will fulfil the space-based observation requirements in response to European policy priorities. The Sentinel missions are the first space missions explicitly conceived to meet the GMES service requirements.

The GMES space component includes the instruments or sensing capabilities grouped into ‘Sentinels’; of which the two to be covered on the industry days this month are:

  • Sentinel-2: A multi-spectral optical imaging mission;
  • Sentinel-3: A mission with wide-swath low-medium resolution visible and infrared radiometers and a radar altimeter package.

Sentinel-2 is a low-Earth-orbiting mission dedicated to the monitoring of land and coastal areas. It features a MultiSpectral Optical Instrument operating with 13 channels from Visible-Near Infrared to Short Wave Infrared, and is dedicated to the monitoring of vegetation coverage and biophysical properties, and for the mapping of urban areas. Sentinel-2 offers a 10m spatial resolution for key channels and will ensure the mission continuity and very significant improvement with respect to the existing medium-resolution land missions, e.g. SPOT-5 and Landsat. Sentinel-2 is envisaged as a two-satellite constellation, to meet the coverage requirements of the mission.

Sentinel-3 is a low-Earth-orbiting mission providing fast revisit land and ocean monitoring on a global basis. In order to meet the GMES requirements and in particular the Ocean and Land (global) Fast Track Services, two operational satellites are envisaged in-orbit to provide a one-day (land) and two-day (ocean) revisit time. Additional satellites are then required to provide the sustained operational services over a minimum operational period of twenty years following the first satellite launch.

Procurement opportunities and plans


Following competitive procurements for the implementation phases, Astrium GmbH (D) has been selected as Prime Contractor for the Sentinel-2 mission and Thales Alenia Space (F) was selected as Prime Contractor for the Sentinel-3 mission.

In line with the application of the Agency’s 'Code of Best practices' the two Prime Contractors are now in the process of building up their industrial teams. While at a later stage the procurements will be announced on EMITS for External Entities and, where foreseen, on the EC’s CORDIS website, it has been considered opportune by the two Primes and ESA to inform candidate subcontractors of the various subsystem and equipment procurement opportunities as well as the procurement planning and procedures, as early as possible.

To this effect, two industry days will take place at the Space Expo at ESTEC in Noordwijk, The Netherlands:

  • Sentinel-2 Industry Day 26 November 2007
  • Sentinel-3 Industry Day 27 November 2007

In order to participate to either or both of the two events companies and institutes are invited to register not later than 16 November 2007 to:

Ms Claudia Wildner
Sentinel 2/3 Project Office
European Space Agency
Phone: +31-(0)71-5658331

Please note that for logistical reasons a maximum of two participants per company/institute is allowed. Please indicate the splinter sessions each company/institute representative intends to attend (see provisional agenda in linked pdf-files). The precise composition and number of the splinter sessions will be finalised at a later stage.

A final agenda with all logistic details will be distributed to the registered participants during the week before the event.

The invitations for the two events are published on ESA’s EMITS system and on the EC’s Cordis website.

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