Minimize Observation Scenario

The SENTINEL-2 MSI observation scenario implements a pre-defined SENTINEL High Level Observation Plan (HLOP), and is focused on delivering the observation requirements for the Copernicus services. The SENTINEL HLOP can be found here.

Observation Scenario

Observations will be made over a pre-defined area with the instrument in IMAGE Mode. For more information on the mission coverage please visit the Revisit and Coverage section of the User Guide.

Once the SENTINEL-2 mission is in full operations, the satellites will systematically acquire data over land and coastal areas in a band of latitude extending from 56° South (Isla Hornos, Cape Horn, South America) to 84° North (above Greenland). Data collection within this region will include:

  • islands greater than 100 km2 in area
  • islands in the European Union
  • all other islands within 20 km of a coastline
  • the Mediterranean Sea
  • all inland water bodies
  • all closed seas

In addition, to support mission-linked calibration and validation activities, the SENTINEL-2 satellites will acquire additional observations over specific calibration sites, such as Dome-C in Antarctica.


Calibration Scenario

In addition to the nominal acquisition mode, and in order to maintain the performance of the instrument during the mission lifetime, at regular intervals throughout the Mission the instrument will be placed in one of two Calibration modes:

  • Dark signal calibration: image acquisition when the instrument is traversing the eclipse (dark) phase of the orbit. Dark signal calibration occurs every two weeks.
  • Sun signal calibration: image acquisition when the instrument is in the day part of the orbit. Sun signal calibration occurs every four weeks.

Before reaching the above described routine operations, there will be - as with Sentinel-1, a gradual ramp-up phase.