ESA is developing five new missions called Sentinels specifically for the operational needs of the Copernicus programme.
The Sentinel missions are based on a constellation of two satellites to fulfil revisit and coverage requirements, providing robust datasets for Copernicus Services.
These missions carry a range of technologies, such as radar and multi-spectral imaging instruments for land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring:
- Sentinel-1 is a polar-orbiting, all-weather, day-and-night radar imaging mission for land and ocean services. The first Sentinel-1 satellite will be ready for launch in spring 2014.
- Sentinel-2 is a polar-orbiting, multispectral high-resolution imaging mission for land monitoring providing, for example, imagery of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas. Sentinel-2 will also deliver information for emergency services. The first Sentinel-2 satellite is planned to be ready for launch between 2014 and 2015.
Sentinel-3 is polar-orbiting, multi-instrument mission to measure variables such as sea-surface topography, sea- and land-surface temperature, ocean colour and land colour with high-end accuracy and reliability. The first Sentinel-3 satellite is expected to be ready for launch between 2014 and 2015.
Sentinel-4 is a payload that will be embarked upon a Meteosat Third Generation-Sounder (MTG-S) satellite in geostationary orbit.
Sentinel-4is dedicated to atmospheric monitoring.
Sentinel-5 is a payload that will be embarked on a MetOp Second Generation satellite, also known as Post-EPS. Sentinel-5 is dedicated to atmospheric monitoring.
- Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite mission is scheduled to be ready for launch in 2015, thereby reducing data gaps between Envisat (Sciamachy data in particular) and Sentinel-5. This mission will be dedicated to atmospheric monitoring.