SENTINEL-1 potentially operates in four exclusive acquisition modes:
The SENTINEL-1 C-band SAR instrument supports operation in single polarisation (HH or VV) and dual polarisation (HH+HV or VV+VH), implemented through one transmit chain (switchable to H or V) and two parallel receive chains for H and V polarisation.
SM, IW and EW are available in single (HH or VV) or dual polarisation (HH+HV or VV+VH). WV is single polarisation only (HH or VV).
The primary conflict-free modes are IW, with VV+VH polarisation over land, and WV, with VV polarisation, over open ocean. EW mode is primarily used for wide area coastal monitoring including ship traffic, oil spill and sea-ice monitoring. SM mode will only be used on request for extraordinary events such as emergency management.
Having the Interferometric Wide swath mode as the one main operational mode satisfies most currently known service requirements, avoids conflicts and preserves revisit performance, simplifies mission planning, decreases operational costs and builds up a consistent long-term archive.
For each mode, it will be possible to produce products at SAR Level-0, Level-1 SLC, Level-1 GRD and Level-2 OCN.
Figure 1: SENTINEL-1 Product Modes