The role of the Sentinel missions is to provide timely, continuous and independent data on the use of land as a resource, and to support the management and monitoring of its ability to withstand increasing socio-economic pressures. Land monitoring covers a wide range of resources and associated policies:
The Sentinel missions will provide data support to federal, national and local studies and activities, and be pivotal in helping address a variety of policy areas.
Specific Areas - Land Monitoring
Land Cover is the materials that cover the Earth's surface, such as vegetation and water. Satellites can be used to monitor how this land cover is being used, and detect changes to the land over time.
Bio-geophysical parameters are biological, geological and physical terms that play a role in the Earth's land, such as plant species, soil types, and heat and light. Variable mapping studies these parameters and how they change over time.
Identifying risks on land and in water can be a vital tool for prevention and for providing solutions. Satellites can provide invaluable views from a higher perspective, and help to analyse risks.
Precision farming utilising satellite data is a method of managing farms with a high degree of accuracy. Satellite observations can precisely track variations in fields and provide statistics which can be used to determine what tools, practices and decisions may be best for a farm.
The world's forests play an important role in the climate, and so monitoring them is a useful indication of how the climate may be changing. It is also useful for tracking both deforestation and forestation.
Desertification is the process by which land becomes increasingly dry, until the moisture in the land is depleted. This leads to the eventual absence of vegetation and the animals that thrive in such conditions.
One tenth of Earth's surface is permanently covered in ice, but snow and ice is present across the world at varying amounts during the seasons. This process of ice forming and melting is an important indication of climate change, and satellites play a vital role in tracking this.