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Using the Handbooks

Each handbook allows the individual reader to choose the relevant level of detail required for the subject of interest, and enables them to navigate in a logical flow from high level topics such as mission and thematic areas towards increasingly detailed content about quality and access to Sentinel data.

The Handbook content is split into three focus areas:

These areas are intended to provide the general public and policy makers with an overview of the Sentinel missions, and the SENTINEL Mission Guide and User Guides. Their focus is on providing SENTINEL data users with background information related to the acquisition, dissemination and access to SENTINEL data for each mission.

1.1 The Mission Guide content is an overview of the mission, its objectives, the satellite, its payload, the ground segment, generated data products and related news. It will provide support to potential users of GMES services, as well as being of interest to the wider user community.

1.2 The User Guide provides a high level description of the instruments, coverage and acquisition, and available product levels. The User Guide also provides information on the relevant applications of each instrument, the format of the products and the software tools required to interpret the data. This information has been harmonised for all SENTINEL missions and can be accessed under each category via the User Guide panel on the right of each instrument User Guide page. The categories are:

1.3 The Technical Guide will provide a point of engagement for ESA and the SENTINEL technical user community. The detailed information available in the Technical Guide is intended for users such as academics and industrial software engineers who have previous experience of similar EO missions and in-depth experience of data manipulation and management.

  • Product Overview
  • Applications
  • Product Types
  • Processing Levels
  • Resolutions
  • Coverage
  • Naming Conventions
  • Data Formats
  • Software Tools
  • Definitions.

Note: SENTINEL-1 and SENTINEL-2 are single instrument platforms, however, each SENTINEL-3 satellite carries four instruments:

SENTINEL-3 satellites also carry an additional suite of instruments for Precise Orbit Determination (POD), including Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) and Laser Retro-Reflector (LRR). More information on these POD instruments can be found in the SENTINEL-3 Special Publication.

In addition to the instruments outlined above, SLSTR and OLCI products will be combined to provide a Synergy (SYN) product. The SYN product has its own User Guide.

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