The operations and planning for Sentinel-5P is carried out by the Dutch Royal Meteorological Institute KNMI, while the Flight Operations Control Centre is located at ESA's European Space Operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
Commands are sent to the satellite via the Kiruna (Sweden) ground station. Once the Sentinel data are acquired by the satellite, they are sent to the ground and received at the stations in Svalbard (Norway) and Inuvik (Canada).
Once received at the ground station, the data are relayed to the DLR German Aerospace Center for processing. DLR plays a crucial role in the Sentinel-5P ground segment, providing reception, processing, data management, and dissemination services.
Here, Tropomi’s raw data and various auxiliary data are used to produce systematic up-to-date information on the state of the atmosphere such as clouds and concentrations of ozone and sulphur dioxide.
DLR’s data management and production system handles this complex workflow and ensures that the interwoven processing steps are well-orchestrated and run smoothly. The information products stream into the Copernicus dissemination system. Users have access to these products within three hours of the raw data being collected. In addition, all the data are stored in the DLR long-term archive and remain accessible to users for years to come.
While the ground segment of each Sentinel mission includes specific components, all the related facilities are united to form the Copernicus Space Component (CSC) Ground Segment.
In particular, access to the CSC data is coordinated through the CSC Data Access System. Here, data flowing from the various ground segments and missions are streamlined in a way that is as transparent as possible to the users.
The CSG Ground Segment is complemented by the Sentinel Collaborative Ground Segment. This entails additional elements for specialised solutions in different technological areas such as data acquisition, complementary production and dissemination, innovative tools and applications, and complementary support to calibration and validation activities.
The Copernicus Space Component Ground Segment and the Data Access Coordinated System are coordinated by ESA, while the Sentinel Collaborative Ground Segment is funded and managed by third parties such as national space agencies.