First Sentinel-2B images delivered by laser
12 June 2017
With the Sentinel-2B satellite close to beginning its working life in orbit, this latest Copernicus satellite has linked up to Alphasat by laser, across almost 36,000 km of space, to deliver images of Earth just moments after they were captured.
The test, which was done as part of Sentinel-2B's commissioning, included capturing a strip of images from Europe to North Africa and downlinking the data in just six minutes.
This achievement is not only thanks to cutting-edge laser technology, but also the power of ESA's partnerships with space industries and the European Union.
Following its launch on 07 March, Sentinel-2B is set to be commissioned on 15 June. It joins its twin, Sentinel-2A, which is already supplying a wealth of high-resolution images for the European Union's Copernicus environmental monitoring programme.