Sentinel Online FAQ
Data Access/General Queries
Who can access Sentinel data?
A free, full and open data policy has been adopted by the EU for the Copernicus programme, which foresees access by all users to the Sentinels core products. The different Sentinels data use typologies and the corresponding access rights are documented in the Data Access web pages.
The use of Sentinel data assumes acknowledgement of the general Terms and Conditions for the use and distribution of Sentinel data. Registration is required to download the products.
When was Sentinel-1A imagery made available to users?
The full data stream was opened on 3 October 2014 via the Copernicus Open Access Hub, which contains the full archive of Sentinel-1A data available since then. Users will be informed when the rolling policy will be activated in parallel to an archive data access.
Which Sentinel-1A imagery is available to users?
All data sensed on-board Sentinel-1A is systematically processed according to the Sentinel-1 production scenario and made available online within 24 hours from sensing.
When was Sentinel-2A imagery made available to users?
The full data stream was opened on 3 December 2015 via the Copernicus Open Access Hub. A reprocessing campaign, using the latest processor baseline is on-going to provide access to all useful data from the Commissioning phase acquired before 3 December. It should be completed by the end of 2016.
Which Sentinel-2A imagery is available to users?
Sentinel-2A data are systematically processed to L1C products and made available online between 2 and 12 hours from sensing (on average 5 hours after sensing).
Which are the Sentinel-3A data product types, and when do they become available to all users?
The Sentinel-3A products are progressively released upon product validation; up-to-date information about the mission status and data availability can be found in the periodic status reports.
How will Sentinel-3A data products be available to users?
S3A products are made available to users by ESA (L1 products and L2 Land products) and EUMETSAT (L1 products and L2 Marine products).
ESA is making S3A products available on the Copernicus Open Access Hub, at this preliminary location. The publication on Open Access and ApiHub will follow at a later date.
All registered users of Open Access Hub are able to use their existing credentials, and in addition there is a guest account: S3guest/S3guest
What is the cost of Sentinel data?
As per Sentinel data policy, data are distributed free of charge.
Is any tool available for working with Sentinel products?
ESA makes available free open source toolboxes for the scientific exploitation of the Sentinel missions. Detailed information is available in the Sentinel Toolboxes page.
Copernicus Services Data Hub
What is specific about the Copernicus Services Data Hub?
The Copernicus Services Data Hub is an access to Sentinels data dedicated to Copernicus Services.
All functionalities are the same as on the Copernicus Open Access Hub, though with restricted access by few users, and availability of the whole missions archive.
What is the registration process in the Copernicus Services Data Hub?
Only members of Copernicus Services (defined on the CSCDA website) are eligible for access to Sentinels data via the Copernicus Services Data Hub. These users shall first register to access CSCDA services and contact the Services Coordinated Interface at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an account on the Copernicus Services Data Hub.
Copernicus Open Access Hub Queries
What is the registration process in the Copernicus Open Access Hub?
Access to Sentinel products available in the Open Access Hub requires the user to self-register. A guide to the registration process can be found on the Open Access Hub website.
How can a password be reset for a Copernicus Open Access Hub account?
The following instructions should be followed to reset the password of an account in the Open Access Hub:
To change your password instead, after logging in, click on the User profile button in the top right corner of the Access Hub and fill in the information required under 'Edit Profile'.
Can the Copernicus Open Access Hub time out?
Once you are logged in to the Copernicus Open Access Hub, a long period of user inactivity will cause a timeout. However, the account will still be logged in but when a search is done, an error will be returned instead of the search results. The solution is to log out of the Copernicus Open Access Hub and then log in again.
How to use the Copernicus Open Access Hub?
A guide to the search terms which can be used for data searches is available on the Copernicus Open Access Hub website, and a guide to using the advanced search functionality is also available. Additionally a guide to the graphical user interface of the Open Access Hub is available.
How many images can be downloaded simultaneously from the Access Hub?
Users are able to download two images simultaneously. If a third download is attempted when two are already on-going, the system will return an error of 'An exception occurred while creating a stream : Maximum number of 1 concurrent flows achieved by the user "<username>"' (though 2 concurrent downloads are accepted).
Is batch downloading available in the Copernicus Open Access Hub?
The capability for users to define a script in order to automatically download certain product types over selected areas of interest is available in the Open Access Hub. This batch scripting is available thanks to the exposed Open Data Protocol (OData) interface for accessing the EO data stored on the rolling archive. This protocol is based on the well-supported HTTPS/ REST transfer protocol that can be handled by a large set of client tools as simple as common web browsers, download-managers or computer programs such as cURL or wget. The Odata protocol provides easy access to the Access Hub and can be used for building URI for performing search queries and product downloads offering to the users the capability to remotely run scripts in batch mode. A user guide can be found on the Open Access Hub.
How much of the acquired imagery is made available in the Copernicus Open Access Hub?
All acquired Sentinel imagery are made available for user download in the Open Access Hub.
Is it possible to shift Sentinel-1 frames along track?
It is not possible to select or shift frames along the track. Products are available as shown in the Copernicus Open Access Hub.
What is the observation scenario of Sentinel-1A?
The Sentinel-1A SAR observation scenario implements a baseline pre-defined mission observation scenario, making optimum use of the SAR duty cycle within the technical constraints of the overall system.
This scenario aims at fulfilling in priority the observation requirements of the Copernicus Services.
High-level details of the Sentinel-1A observation scenario are available on the Observation Scenario page, along with the daily detailed observation plan.
What is the observation scenario of Sentinel-2A?
The Sentinel-2A observation scenario implements a baseline pre-defined mission observation scenario.
Sentinel-2 is currently in its Ramp-up Phase; the acquisition plan is published weekly.
What is the observation scenario of Sentinel-3A?
S3A operates continuous and systematic observations over a 27 days repeat cycle. More information is available on the Observation Scenario page.
What are the processing levels of Sentinel-1A?
Sentinel-1A imagery is processed to three levels: Level 0, Level 1 and Level 2. More information on each processing level is available in the Processing Levels section.
An overview is provided here:
Sentinel-1 orthorectified products are currently not part of the operational products.
ESA's NEST tool offers functionality for the orthorectification of imagery, and is available for free.
Where are Sentinel-1 interferometric/InSAR images available?
Sentinel-1 acquisitions over land masses are systematically processed and made available as L1 SLC products for Interferometry/InSAR applications. The evolution of SLC availability since June 2014 and the current operational configuration is available on the Production Scenario page.
Where are Sentinel-1A Level-2 products available?
For data acquired in IW and EW modes, Level-2 OCN products are available over regional ocean areas since 26 July 2015 while Wave Mode Level-2 OCN products are available to users since 02 July 2015.
What DEM is used in the processing of Sentinel-1A imagery?
Details on the DEM that is used in Sentinel imagery processing can be found in the Technical Guide.
Why is there an overlap between Sentinel-1A Level-0 products?
Level-0 (RAW) products constantly have an overlap at the beginning/end of each scene. The seconds of the overlap are described in the product annotation in the "generalProductInformation" section. The "s1sar:sliceOverlap" parameter is defined as follows:
"Overlap (in seconds) of input data between adjacent slices within the L0 segment to which the slice belongs (applicable if the current L0 product is a slice)" and it provides the information on the overlap between the consecutive products.
There are no overlaps between Level-1 images.
What are the processing levels of Sentinel-2A?
Sentinel-2A imagery is processed to two levels: Level 1B and Level 1C while users can generate L2A products using the Sentinels toolbox. Full qualification will be achieved at IOCR+9 months.
More information on each processing level is available in the Sentinel-2 Data Products section.
Are common products made available by ESA and EUMETSAT identical?
S3A level 1 products are produced and made available both by ESA and EUMETSAT. So they are referred as "Common products".
These products are generated using the same processors so the products are identical except for operational contingencies which may affect one or the other centre, e.g. differences in the dynamic auxiliary data used, different creation/publication times, slight shifts on the adoption of new processing baselines, etc.
Such information are detailed inside the product manifest.
How can Sentinel-1 images be un-flipped?
Some Sentinel-1 images may appear mirrored when opened in the Sentinel-1 toolbox. This is an effect of the acquisition geometry: the mirroring effect may be present or not depending on the combination of orbit (descending or ascending) and looking side (left or right). If an image is mirrored it is possible to flip it with the NEST toolbox using the Data Flip tool in the Utilities menu. Alternatively, the image can be flipped and, at the same time, re-projected in a desired geographic projection with the following procedure: Utilities > Reprojection > fill in the input/output boxes in the first tab and chose the projection in the second tab. Then click OK. It is recommended to launch this time-consuming process on small sub-datasets.
Are there known Sentinel-1 product quality issues?
In case there is an issue identified in the quality of the Sentinel-1 products available to the users, a quality disclaimer is available for user information. The quality disclaimer documents the affected products and the quality impact.
Processing related information
Is Sentinel-1 orbit information available to users?
The following types of Sentinel-1 orbit information are available for user download on the Sentinel-1 PDGS website:
In addition, Sentinel-1 attitude information will also be available in the future.
Are the Sentinel-1 processing auxiliary files available to users?
The Sentinel-1 processing auxiliary files are available for user download on the Sentinel-1 PDGS website.