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Testing Sentinel's radar vision

08 April 2014

Two days after launch, the first Sentinel satellite for Europe's Copernicus programme has passed its initial instrument checks and technical verifications of the ground segment.

Early on Sunday morning, the C-band synthetic aperture radar was switched on for a few minutes under the command of the Svalbard ground station in Norway.

The first data were then transmitted to southern Italy's Matera ground station, before being automatically sent to the processing and archiving centre in Farnborough, United Kingdom, both part of the Copernicus Space Component ground segment.

The switch-on operation - part of the Launch and Early Orbit Phase, or LEOP - provided an early indication that the on-board radar is working nominally. It also demonstrated that the full chain of the instrument, from commanding to the generation of the final data by the ground segment, is functioning well.

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