Figure 1‑3: SENTINEL-6 satellite
SENTINEL-6 (JASON-CS) is an operational oceanography programme of two satellites that will ensure continuity to the JASON series of operational missions.
SENTINEL-6 makes use of multiple sensing instruments to accomplish its objectives:
The Posiedon-4, DORIS, AMR-C and LRA are used for topographic measurements of the ocean, coastal areas and in-land water. The altimeter is the main instrument. The AMR-C radiometer provides data for the determination of the total water vapour column content in the atmosphere impacting the radar measurements.
The observation missions fall into two categories:
The altimeter mission, ensuring the continuity of the altimeter satellite data services starting with TOPEX/POSEIDON and continued with the JASON mission series. This mission is defined as the prime mission and serves the following users groups:
A secondary mission, consisting of the Radio Occultation (RO) instrument extending the atmospheric sounding of water vapour and temperature profiles used for numerical weather prediction.
The spacecraft design is based on CRYOSAT-2, with necessary adaptations for the higher, mid-inclination orbit, harsher radiation environment, increased payload and to de-orbit within 25 years following completion of operations.
Planned Launch Date:
POSEIDON-4 (SAR Radar Altimeter):
AMR-C (Climate-quality Microwave Radiometer – NOAA/JPL contribution):
GNSS POD receiver provides GNSS measurements from GPS and Galileo constellations for precise orbit determination.
DORIS enables precise orbit determination, as well as providing on-orbit position to the satellite attitude control.
LRA (Laser Retroreflector Array) enables tracking by ground-based lasers (NASA-JPL contribution).
GNSS-RO receiver for Radio Occultation (NASA-JPL contribution) using GNSS measurements for RO.
The launcher will be procured by NASA-KSC on behalf of NASA-JPL with both launches most likely from Vandenburg California, US. The baseline launchers are Falcon-9, Atlas-4 or Antares.
Mission control for LEOP and IOV from ESOC. Routine operations will be conducted from EUMETSAT. Two ground stations are currently baselined, at Fairbanks and Kiruna (to be confirmed)
Payload Data Processing
Data processing and dissemination is performed at EUMETSAT.
Airbus Defence and Space (Germany) is the prime contractor with a core sub-contractor team consisting of Thales-Alenia Space (France), Ruag (Austria) and Thales Systèmes Aéroportés (France).
Sentinel-6 Mission pages