Checking in on Sentinel-1A

22 November 2013

The media had a sneak peek at the first Sentinel satellite today ahead of its launch next spring.

ESA is developing the Earth-observing Sentinel missions to meet the needs of Europe's Copernicus programme.

The first in the series, Sentinel-1, will provide all-weather, day-or-night radar images for emergency responses, marine and land monitoring, civil security and climate studies, among other applications.

It will ensure the continuity of C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, building on ESA's heritage C-band SAR systems on ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat. Sentinel-1 will provide global coverage with a focus on Europe, Canada and the main shipping routes, with data delivered within a few hours of acquisition - a big improvement over existing SAR systems.

The mission will fly a pair of satellites, the first of which is planned to be launched next spring from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Its sister Sentinel-1B will follow in 2015.

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