SENTINEL-3 is an ocean and land mission composed of three versatile satellites (SENTINEL-3A, SENTINEL-3B and SENTINEL-3C). The mission provides data continuity for the ERS, ENVISAT and SPOT satellites.
SENTINEL-3 makes use of multiple sensing instruments to accomplish its objectives:
SLSTR and OLCI are optical instruments that are used to provide data continuity for ENVISAT's AATSR and MERIS instruments and the swaths of the two instruments overlap, allowing for new combined applications. OLCI is a medium-resolution imaging spectrometer, using five cameras to provide a wide field of view.
SRAL, DORIS, MWR and LRR are used for topographic measurements of the ocean and inland water. The SRAL altimeter is the main topographic instrument. The MWR radiometer measures water vapour, cloud water content and thermal radiation emitted by the Earth.
The observations acquired by the mission are used in conjunction with other ocean-observing missions to contribute to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) which aims to create a permanent system of ocean observation.
In July 2009, ESA conducted an airborne campaign, SEN3EXP (SENTINEL-3 Experiment) to test the land and ocean imaging applications of the SENTINEL-3 mission using three instruments:
Satellite observations were also made by ENVISAT's MERIS and AATSR instruments, which are similar to the SENTINEL-3 OLCI and SLSTR instruments, and the CHRIS instrument aboard PROBA-1.
Please refer to the individual Mission details available from the Copernicus pages
7 years (With consumables for 12).
Orbit Type: sun-synchronous
Resolution and Swath Width:
Satellite Operators: ESA and EUMETSAT
Thales Alenia Space France (TAS-F) is the prime contractor, responsible for the overall. TAS-F is also the prime contractor of OLCI and SRAL instruments.
The prime contractor of SLSTR is SELEX Galileo, with the involvement of several European companies. A major sub-contractor is Jena-Optronik, in charge of the optomechanical assembly.