Minimize Operations Ramp-Up Phase

The operations ramp-up phase refers to the period starting at the completion of the first spacecraft launch and commissioning, and continues until the Full Operational Capacity (FOC) is reached with the constellation.

The operations phase is based on a ramp-up approach in terms of exploitation capacity that will gradually increase over time. This exploitation capacity ramp-up will start during the commissioning phase of the first Sentinel-1 satellite and will reach the routine exploitation capacity with the two-satellite constellation approximately 2 years after the launch of the first Sentinel-1. The ramp up will continue after that period, further increasing the capacity of the production.

This ramp-up phase approach is based on a gradual Sentinel-1 ground segment system deployment and mission resources exploitation, defined in order to:

  • complete the ground segment commissioning started during the Space Segment Commissioning Phase
  • complete the operational user product quality verification/calibration/validation
  • gradually increase the exploitation capacity in line with the Sentinel-1 data user needs to reach routine exploitation with the two-satellite constellation.

This ramp-up allows adaptation of the Sentinel-1 exploitation capacity to the increasing needs of users (Copernicus services, national use, science use, etc.) while optimising the available resources (e.g. deployment of receiving stations in line with available operational budget). Factors such as the huge volume of data systematically generated by the mission (more than 3 TBytes of data per day, per satellite) are also taken into account in the definition of the ramp-up scenarios.

The following tables show the Sentinel-1A Milestone Summary, as well as the Sentinel-1B Milestone Summary, leading to the mission Full Operational Capacity.

Sentinel-1A launch (L)                                                            03-04-2014

Sentinel-1A In-Orbit Commissioning Review (IOCR)       23-09-2014

Sentinel-1A Milestone Summary
Date wrt Launch Events, Milestones, Activities Comment Status
L minus 1 week Publication of the final high level Sentinel-1A observation plan. Plan published on Sentinel Online and covers the first 6 months after the In-Orbit Commissioning Review (IOCR). Done
Launch Launch from Kourou on Soyuz   Successful launch on 3 April 2014

From

L

to

L + 3 days

Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) Phase.

End-of-LEOP Review (ELR), authorisation to start the In-Orbit Commissioning.

Main objectives:

  • appendage deployments
  • achievement of satellite nominal mode and Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS)nominal pointing mode
  • switch ON and initial check of sub-systems and SAR.
Done as planned
L + 4 days Start of satellite commissioning.

Main objectives:

  • spacecraft in-orbit verification
  • orbit verification
  • ground system interfaces verification
  • SAR calibration and performance verification
  • calibration facilities verification
  • verification of the Optical Communication Payload (OCP) interface
Done as planned

From

L+4 days to

L + 1 month
Acquisition of first images over relevant sites. The first images will be presented with the demonstration of applications at a related press event in the first half of May 2014.

Done, see related web news.

The press event took place in Brussels at the European Commission premises on 8 May 2014

From

L + 4 weeks

to

L + 6 weeks
Press event for first images and demonstration of applications The date of the press event will be communicated soon after launch. Done, see above
L + 1 month Start planning observations of reference data sets. Reference data sets cover various applications domains. Done as planned

IOCR minus 1 month

Release of detailed Sentinel-1 acquisition plan starting after IOCR.

Detailed acquisition segments including mode / polarisation etc. will be accessible via Sentinel Online.

Detailed plan will typically cover four repeat cycles (~1.5 months).
Done

IOCR minus 1 month

Start of distribution of Sentinel-1A sample products to all users.

This is similar to what was made before launch,with test data sets and RADARSAT-2 TOPS data in Sentinel-1 product format.

Announcement on Sentinel Online.
Done. Opening of sample data products to all users actually took place on 9 May

L + 3 months

IOCR

End of space segment (satellite and FOS) commissioning phase.

Main objectives:

  • verify that the objectives of the space segment commissioning phase have been fulfilled
  • establish that the criteria of Sentinel-1 space segment handover (see event below) are fulfilled.
Due to a lower orbit altitude injection of the satellite by the launcher (about 8 km), a series of orbital manoeuvres were necessary to reach the reference orbit. The reference orbit acquisition took place on 7 August 2014. Satellite commissioning activities, in particular SAR calibration tasks, required an extension of the satellite commissioning phase. The IOCR milestone successfully took place on 23 September 2014

IOCR

Release of Level-0 operationally qualified products.

Start of gradual data provision of pre-qualified Level-1 GRD and SLCs to Copernicus eligible users.
  Data provision to all users on 3 October, including level 0, level 1 GRD and SLC
IOCR + 2 weeks Space segment handover from spacecraft project to ESRIN mission management.   Handover took place on 25 September 2014
IOCR + 1 month

Extension of data provision:

  • initial operations for national collaborative ground segment through the dedicated data access
  • reference data sets available for scientific / other use through the dedicated data access.
 
  • Collaborative data hub available
  • The whole Sentinel-1 data flow is available to all users since 3 October (level 0 and 1 products)
IOCR + 3 months Initial operations for scientific / other use via dedicated data access.   Actually performed on 3 October 2014
IOCR + 3 months Release of Level-1 SLC operationally qualified products. This is a worst-case estimate. Release of Level-1 SLC operationally fully qualified may come earlier. Achieved
IOCR + 4 months

MTR
Operations Mid Term Review (MTR).   Achieved
MTR
IOCR + 4 months
Extension of data provision:

Initial operations for emergency management service operations with capability to submit emergency planning requests.
  Actually possible since IOCR
IOCR + 6 months Release of Level-1 GRD operationally qualified products.


Extension of data provision:

Initial operations for international partners collaborative ground segment
This is a worst case estimate. Release of Level-1 GRD operationally fully qualified may come earlier. Achieved
IOCR + 8 months

1st ROR
First Yearly Routine Operations Review (ROR).   Took place on 9 June 2015

Sentinel-1B launch (L)                                                            25-04-2016

Sentinel-1B In-Orbit Commissioning Review (IOCR)       September 2016

Sentinel-1B and Mission-level Milestone Summary
Note (1): considering the fact that Sentinel-1B has been launched on 25 April 2016 and needs to be synchronised with Sentinel-1A, the estimate to reach the nominal Sentinel-1B orbit is mid-June 2016. The timeline below is based on this assumption.
Date wrt S1B Launch Events, Milestones, Activities Comment Status
S1B launch Launch from Kourou on Soyuz   Successful launch on 25 April 2016
From

L

to

L + 3 days
Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP).

End-of-LEOP Review (ELR), authorisation to start the In-Orbit Commissioning.

Main objectives:

  • appendage deployments
  • achievement of satellite nominal mode and Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) nominal pointing mode
  • switch ON and initial check of sub-systems and SAR
Successfully completed
L + 4 days Start of Sentinel-1B satellite commissioning

Main objectives:

  • start of acquisition of Sentinel-1B nominal orbit, 180 deg apart from Sentinel-1A in the same orbital plane
  • spacecraft in-orbit verification
  • orbit verification
  • ground system interfaces verification
  • SAR calibration and performance verification
  • calibration facilities verification
  • verification of the Optical Communication Payload (OCP) interface
 
From

L +4 days to

L +2 weeks
Acquisition of first Sentinel-1B images The first images will be published on the ESA web portal First images available, generated in less than 2.5 days after launch
May 2016 Start of European Data Relay System (EDRS) user commissioning between EDRS-A and Sentinel-1A    

From

L + 8 weeks (mid-June 2016)

to

L + 10 weeks
Release on SCIHUB of few Sentinel-1B sample products See note (1) above  
From

L + 10 weeks (early July 2016)

to

L + 12 weeks
Press event for first images and demonstration of applications based on the constellation (e.g. InSAR) See note (1) above  
July 2016 (TBC) Start of operations between EDRS-A and Sentinel-1A    
IOCR minus 1 month Release of detailed Sentinel-1B acquisition plan starting after S1B IOCR. Detailed acquisition segments including mode / polarisation etc. will be accessible via Sentinel Online  
IOCR

(planned mid-September 2016)
IOCR

End of Sentinel-1B commissioning phase

See note (1) above

Main objectives:

  • verify that the objectives of the space segment commissioning phase have been fulfilled
  • establish that the criteria of Sentinel-1 space segment handover (see event below) are fulfilled.
 
IOCR

(planned mid-September 2016)
Start of Sentinel-1 Mission Operations Qualification (incl. Sentinel-1B ramp-up operations)

Release of Sentinel-1B preliminary qualified products
   
IOCR + 2 weeks Sentinel-1B handover from ESTEC spacecraft project to ESRIN mission management    
IOCR + 2 weeks Start of user commissioning between EDRS-A and Sentinel-1B    
September 2016 Start of 4th X-band core station (Inuvik) commissioning and pre-operations    
IOCR + 2 months
(mid-November 2016)
Release of Sentinel-1B operationally qualified products    
Early 2017 Sentinel-1 Mission Routine Operations Review –

Start of Sentinel-1 Mission routine operations leading to Full Operations Capacity