As anticipated in the previous news from 02 March - "Upcoming Sentinel-2 Level-2A product evolution", we are pleased to confirm that the operational Level-2A product distribution will start on 26 March 2018 with the coverage of the Euro-Mediterranean region.
With respect to the pilot Level-2A products distributed since May 2017, the operational production features an update of the product format, in particular:
- The naming logic of the files embedded in the L2A product package has been harmonised with that of the L1C product
- The Metadata files (Product, Datastrip, and Tile levels) have been harmonised in structure and contents with that of the L1C
This updated format is described in detail in the Sentinel-2 Products Specification Document version 14.5(*). A ZIP archive including the corresponding XSD schemas can be accessed from within the technical document as a PDF attachment, and a sample product is available for download.
(*) From the former revision 14.4 distributed on 02 March, a set of minor corrections have been applied in the final revision 14.5 and corresponding XSD schemas. Changes from 14.4 are annotated in the document with tracked changes.
Regarding the algorithm, it is recalled that this evolution features the following changes:
- Improvement of cloud screening and scene classification
- Visibility iteration extended from 80 to 120 km
- Exclusion of cloud shadow pixels for Water Vapour retrieval
- Improved aerosol optical thickness retrieval
It is further highlighted that the operational Level-2A production starting on start on 26 March will tag every new Level-2A product with the processing baseline number 02.07, as opposed to the former pilot production featuring the baseline number 02.06. The pilot production in baseline 02.06 will coincidently stop on the same day.