Sentinel-1 Observation Scenario
Sentinel-1 SAR observation scenario implements a baseline pre-defined mission observation scenario, making optimum use of the SAR duty cycle within the technical constraints of the overall system.
This scenario aims at fulfilling, during the routine exploitation phase, the observation requirements of the Copernicus services and of ESA/EU member states. In addition, on a best effort basis and with lower priority, a secondary objective is to satisfy other SAR user communities, ensuring continuity of ERS/Envisat, considering requirements from the scientific community, as well as from international partners and cooperation activities.
The elaboration of a pre-defined observation plan necessitates solving, a priori, the potential conflict among users (e.g. different SAR operation modes or polarisation schemes required over same geographical area).
During the ramp-up exploitation phase, the Sentinel-1 observation plan gradually evolves in line with the increasing operational capacity. Accordingly, the observations and volume of data available to Sentinel-1 operational users gradually increase during this period.
Within the predefined observation plan, the Sentinel-1 mission ensures observations fulfilling the following two main categories of services:
The high level Sentinel-1 observation strategy during full operations capacity is based on:
In exceptional cases only, emergency observation requests may alter the pre-defined observation scenario, potentially requiring use of the Stripmap (SM) mode.
Over land, the same SAR polarisation scheme is systematically used over a given area, to guarantee time series of data in the same conditions for routine operational services and to allow frequent InSAR. Depending on the area, the selection is either vertical or horizontal, the choice being made according to the main application behind.
As a general principle, the polarisation scheme uses the following logic:
Please see the Sentinel High Level Operations Plan for specific details about the high level operations concept and strategy of the Sentinel missions.
See the archive for the full list of Sentinel-1A observation scenario maps dating back to the start of the Sentinel-1A operations ramp up phase (September 2014).
The two following maps describe the overall Sentinel-1 constellation observation scenario, in terms of SAR mode, polarisation, observation geometry, revisit and coverage frequency, starting as of February 2018.
The Wave mode, continuously operated by default over open oceans, is not shown on these maps.
Detailed information on the planned Sentinel-1 observations in terms of acquisitions (SAR mode, date, start-stop times, polarization, etc.) are provided with KML files available on the Acquisition Segments page.