Minimize Operations Ramp-Up Phase

A gradual ramp-up of the system performance is currently being defined, increasing gradually the observations capacity as well as the mission performance level in a stepwise approach.

This will include:

  • gradual increase of acquisition capacity from an initial observation/processing scenario mainly focusing on Europe during the spacecraft in-orbit commissioning phase up to full systematic observation of the world at the end of the ramp-up phase
  • ensuring coverage of global Cal/Val needs during all times
  • ensuring as early as possible Copernicus Services dataset needs starting from Europe and extending gradually to the rest of the world
  • ensuring maximum coverage/optimised orbit length for generation of the Global Reference Image (GRI), required to produce high accuracy L1C products. This may take up to 9 months after IOCR to complete.

The acquisition strategy for the GRI i.e. when which part of the world will be covered and for how long/how often, will depend largely on:

  • Weather/cloud occurrence and duration until a satisfactory database for GRI production is reached over a given area
  • Illumination conditions: With a launch of Sentinel-2A on 23 June 2015 and IOCR foreseen 3 months after launch, the start of regular GRI data takes coincides with increasingly unfavourable illumination conditions north of 55-60 degrees northern latitude

The following table shows the Sentinel-2A Milestone Summary.

Launch (L) - 23-06-2015

Date w.r.t Launch Events, Milestones, Activities Comment
Launch Launch from Kourou on Vega  
From L


L + 3d
LEOP Phase

End-of-LEOP Review (ELR), authorisation to start the In-Orbit Commissioning
Main objectives:

- Appendages Deployments
- Achievement of Satellite Nominal Mode and AOCS Nominal Pointing Mode
- Switch ON and check of sub-system and MSI

LEOP Phase has successfully been concluded
L + 3d Start of Satellite Commissioning Main objectives:

- Spacecraft in-orbit Verification
- Orbit Verification
- Ground System Interfaces Verification
- MSI Calibration and Performance Verification
- Calibration Facilities Verification
- Verification of the OCP interface
From L+4w to L+6w First images/key applications press event 27 July 2015, Milan/Italy
IOCR - 1m 29-30 September 2015: Expert user consultation with access to reference/sample S2 imagery
L + 3 m 28 September 2015: Start of IOCR (In Orbit Commissioning Review) Process Main objectives:
- Verify that the objectives of the space segment commissioning phase have been fulfilled
- Establish that the criteria of S2 space segment handover are fulfilled
IOCR 15 October 2015: IOCR Board
End of space segment (satellite and FOS) commissioning phase
IOCR + 1d 16 October 2015: Space Segment Handover from ESTEC Spacecraft Project Manager to ESRIN Mission Manager
IOCR + 6 weeks Implementation of IOCR Board recommendations
Release of Level-1 pre-qualified products with improved bit quantisation
IOCR + 6 weeks 3 Dec 2015: Start of gradual data provision of pre-qualified Level 1 to all users
IOCR + 6 weeks 3 Dec 2015: Release of detailed Sentinel-2 acquisition plans, same time as opening data access Detailed plans will cover 1 repeat cycle (10-days) and be published in kml format on the Acquisition Plans page
S2 RoR
IOCR + 9 m Release of Level 1 operationally qualified products  
IOCR + 9 m
5 July 2016: Sentinel-2 First Yearly Routine Operations Review
First operations qualification milestone
Milestone to start the Sentinel-2A Routine Operations Phase
Status verification of the Sentinel-2 mission operations qualification and confirmation of the readiness to proceed with the Sentinel-2 mission routine operations.
Q1-Q2/2017 Launch of Sentinel-2B  
L +3 months Commissioning Phase of S2B