The Sentinel core ground segment allows all Copernicus Sentinel data to be systematically acquired, processed and distributed. It includes elements for monitoring and controlling the Sentinel satellites and for downloading, processing and disseminating data to users. It also has mechanisms for monitoring and controlling the quality of data products, as well as for data archiving. The infrastructure is 'distributed', meaning that various centres are in different locations but are linked and coordinated. Despite the complexity of the system, users are offered a single virtual access point for locating and downloading products.
The main facilities of the Sentinel-5P core ground segment are:
- Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS), responsible for exploitation of instrument data: generation, archiving and dissemination of the Sentinel-5P products.
- Flight Operations Segment (FOS), responsible for all flight operations of the Sentinel satellites, including monitoring and control, execution of all platform activities and commanding payload schedules.
- Core Ground Station's (CGSs). The Svalbard and Inuvik stations are used for S-band and X-band downlink of Sentinel-5P data (instrument measurement data and satellite housekeeping telemetry data). The Kiruna station is used for S-band uplink (telecommand required to operate the instrument and the satellite) and downlink (housekeeping telemetry data).
- Mission Performance Centre's (MPCs), responsible for calibration, validation, quality control and end-to-end system performance assessment. The MPCs include expert teams for specific calibration/validation, offline quality control and algorithm correction, and evolution activities.
- Copernicus Space Component Wide Area Network (CSC WAN), allowing all products and auxiliary data to be carried across the various ground segment facilities and providing disseminated data products to end users.
Figure 1 shows the Space to ground interface between the Sentinel-5P satellite and the different facilities of the Sentinel-5P core ground segment. Figure 2 shows the geographic location of the core ground stations and of the PDGS.
Figure 1: Sentinel-5P Space to Ground Interface Simplified Schematic. The two left antennas represent the Svalbard and Inuvik stations. The right antenna represents the Kiruna station.
Figure 2: Sentinel-5P Receiving Stations and PDGS (NRT/Offline Processing and Archiving Centre).