Bridging from the initial Level-2A pilot production which started in May 2017, we are pleased to confirm the long-term maintenance of the Level-2A as an operational product starting from mid-March this year, as well as its forthcoming evolution with systematic worldwide coverage planned for deployment by the summer.
The operational Level-2A production will remain relying on the Sen2Cor surface reflectance and classification algorithm that will include a set of small evolutions in line with the long-term perspective of this product.
Along this plan, it is highlighted that as of mid-March the Level-2A production (still limited to the Euro-Mediterranean region) will feature an updated product format:
- 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
Detailed information on the operational Level-2A product format is provided in the Sentinel-2 Products Specification Document (PSD version 14.4). Corresponding XSD schemas are also provided with the PSD document as attachments. In addition, a sample product is available for download.
Regarding the algorithm, 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
The transition to the operational production will tag every new Level-2A product with the processing baseline number 02.07 (*). It is highlighted that the Level-2A processing baseline numbering is product specific, i.e. the Level-2A processing baseline number is and will be maintained independently from that of the Level-1C product.
The precise date of the transition will be announced shortly.