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 Copernicus 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 revisit and coverage requirements to provide robust datasets for Copernicus services.
Sentinel-1 - The first satellite will be ready for launch in spring 2014
Sentinel-1 is a polar-orbiting, all-weather, day-and-night radar imaging mission for Copernicus land and ocean services.
Sentinel-2 - The first satellite is planned to be ready for launch between 2014 and 2015.
Sentinel-2 is a polar-orbiting, multispectral high-resolution imaging mission for Copernicus 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 - The first satellite is expected to be ready for launch between 2014 and 2015.
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 is a payload devoted to atmospheric monitoring that will be embarked upon a Meteosat Third Generation satellite in geostationary orbit.
Sentinel-5 and -5P
The Sentinel-5 payload will monitor the atmosphere from polar orbit aboard a MetOp Second Generation satellite. To reduce data gaps between Envisat and Sentinel-5, a Sentinel-5 Precursor mission is scheduled to be ready for launch in 2015.
Last update: 25 September 2013