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The OLCI instrument baseline is the successor to ENVISAT MERIS with additional spectral channels, different camera arrangements and simplified on-board processing.

The OLCI is a push-broom instrument with five camera modules sharing the field of view.

The field of view of the five cameras is arranged in a fan-shaped configuration in the vertical plane, perpendicular to the platform velocity.

Each camera has an individual field of view of 14.2° and a 0.6° overlap with its neighbours.

The whole field of view is shifted across track by 12.6° away from the sun to minimise the impact of sun glint.

Schematic View of the OLCI Field of View

This "native" acquisition resolution of approximately 300 m is the one used to compute the product grid of Full Resolution (FR) product. A Reduced Resolution (RR) processing mode provides Level-1B data at sampling rates decreased by a factor of four in both spatial dimensions resulting to resolution of approximately 1.2 km.

OLCI is equipped with on-board calibration hardware based on sun diffusers. There are three sun diffusers: two "white" diffusers dedicated to radiometric calibration and one dedicated to spectral calibration, with spectral reflectance features.