ESA is developing five new missions called Sentinels specifically for the operational needs of the GMES programme.
The Sentinel missions are based on a constellation of two satellites to fulfil revisit and coverage requirements, providing robust datasets for GMES Services.
The Sentinels will be launched from 2013. 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 is planned for launch in 2013.
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 for launch in 2014.
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 planned for launch in 2014.
Sentinel-4 is a payload that will be embarked upon a Meteosat Third Generation-Sounder (MTG-S) satellite in geostationary orbit scheduled to be launched in 2019.
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, to be launched in 2020. Sentinel-5 is dedicated to atmospheric monitoring.
- Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite mission is planned to launch in 2015, thereby reducing data gaps between Envisat (Sciamachy data in particular) and Sentinel-5. This mission will be dedicated to atmospheric monitoring.