Thematic Areas and Services
The core services of the SENTINEL-6 mission are:
Marine meteorology is concerned with processes in the atmosphere and their interaction with the ocean requiring altimeter wind speed and significant wave height measurements available in near real-time.
Operational oceanography can be defined as the activity of systematic and long-term routine measurements of the seas and oceans, and their rapid interpretation and dissemination (www.EUROGOOS.org).
Important outputs of operational oceanography are nowcasts providing the most accurate description of the present state of the ocean including marine resources, forecasts of the future state, hindcasts assembling datasets to describe past states, and long-time series for the analysis of trends and variability.
This mode already existed in ENVISAT RA-2, which was a conventional altimeter.
Sea Level and Climate Monitoring
Climate change monitoring services are under development under the framework of the Copernicus climate Monitoring services. Mean sea level is a pertinent indicator of global climatic change. The ocean is also an important element of the climate system as well as wind speed and significant wave height, which are essential parameters for climate monitoring.
Operational Applications of Radio Occultation
The main operational applications of radio occultation observations are weather forecasting and climate monitoring. The occultation of GPS signals through the troposphere and ionosphere allow retrieval of pressure and temperature profiles as a function of height and are routinely assimilated into global atmospheric forecast models. Evaluation of these climate models is another climate application.
Research and Remote Sensing Science
Remote sensing science is important for calibration and validation, for improving product quality and measurement techniques and to ensure that the understanding and quality of the measurement data remains state of the art. This is valid for altimetry and for radio occultation, and the remote sensing user community, which includes programme-relevant science teams, delivers vital support to the programme.
The operational data services are summarised in the Table 1.
Table 1: Operational data services.
Sentinel-6 Mission pages