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ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Copernicus / Sentinel-1

Launch: Sentinel-1A was launched on 3 April 2014 and Sentinel-1B on 25 April 2016

Launcher: Soyuz rocket 

Launch site: Kourou, French Guiana

Orbit: Polar, Sun-synchronous at an altitude of 693 km

Revisit time: Six days (at the equator) from two-satellite constellation

Life: Minimum of seven years

Satellite: 2.8 m long, 2.5 m wide, 4 m high with 2×10 m-long solar arrays and a 12 m-long radar antenna

Mass: 2300 kg (including 130 kg fuel)

Instrument: C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) at 5.405 GHz 

Operational modes: Interferometric wide-swath mode at 250 km and 5×20 m resolution
Wave-mode images of 20×20 km and 5×5 m resolution (at 100 km intervals)
Strip map mode at 80 km swath and 5×5 m resolution
Extra wide-swath mode of 400 km and 20×40 m resolution


Receiving stations: SAR data: Svalbard, Norway; Matera, Italy; Maspalomas, Spain; Inuvik Canada; and via laser link through EDRS
Telemetry, tracking and command: via Kiruna, Sweden


Main applications: Monitoring sea ice, oil spills, marine winds, waves & currents, land-use change, land deformation among others, and to respond to emergencies such as floods and earthquakes

Mission: Developed, operated and managed by various ESA establishments

Funding: ESA Member States and the European Union

Prime contractors: Thales Alenia Space, Italy for the satellite; Airbus Defence and Space, Germany for the SAR instrument

Data access:

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