Based on over 30 years of experience developing and implementing Earth observation satellites, ESA is developing five new missions called Sentinels specifically for the operational needs of the joint European Commission-ESA GMES programme. The Sentinels will not replace nor duplicate satellites that are planned as national initiatives, but will rather complement these capacities.
Each Sentinel mission is based on a constellation of two satellites to fulfil revist and coverage requirements to provide robust datasets for GMES Services.
Sentinel-1 - Planned for launch in 2013
Sentinel-1 is a polar-orbiting, all-weather, day-and-night radar imaging mission for GMES land and ocean services.
Sentinel-2 - Planned for launch in 2014
Sentinel-2 is a polar-orbiting, multispectral high-resolution imaging mission for GMES land monitoring to provide, for example, imagery of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas. Sentinel-2 will also provide information for emergency services.
Sentinel-3 - Planned for launch in 2014
Sentinel-3 is a multi-instrument mission to determine parameters such as sea-surface topography, sea- and land-surface temperature, ocean colour and land colour with high-end accuracy and reliability.
Sentinel-4 - Planned for launch in 2019
Sentinel-4 is a payload devoted to atmospheric monitoring that will be embarked upon a Meteosat Third Generation satellite in geostationary orbit.
The Sentinel-5 payload will monitor the atmosphere from polar orbit aboard a MetOp Second Generation satellite envisaged for launch in 2020. To reduce data gaps between Envisat and Sentinel-5, a Sentinel-5 precursor mission is scheduled to launch in 2015.
Last update: 30 July 2012