Minimize Data Formats

SENTINEL-2 products will be made available to users in SENTINEL-SAFE format, including image data in JPEG2000 format, quality indicators (e.g. defective pixels mask), auxiliary data and metadata.

The SAFE format has been designed to act as a common format for archiving and conveying data within ESA Earth Observation archiving facilities. The SAFE format wraps a folder containing image data in a binary data format and product metadata in XML. This flexibility allows the format to be scalable enough to represent all levels of SENTINEL products.

A SENTINEL-2 product refers to a directory folder that contains a collection of information (Figure 1). It includes:

  • a file which holds the general product information in XML
  • a preview image in JPEG2000 format
  • subfolders for measurement datasets including image data (granules/tiles) in GML-JPEG2000 format
  • subfolders for datastrip level information
  • a subfolder with auxiliary data (e.g. International Earth Rotation & Reference Systems (IERS) bulletin)
  • HTML previews

Figure 1: SENTINEL-2 product physical format


LEVEL-2A Data Format

The Level-2A prototype product is an orthorectified product providing Bottom-Of-Atmosphere (BOA) reflectances, and basic pixel classification (including classes for different types of cloud). The generation of this prototype product is carried out by the User from Level-1C products.

The Level-2A image data product uses the same tiling, encoding and filing structure as Level-1C.

The Level-2 product is also in SAFE format, which groups together several types of file:

  • metadata file (XML file)
  • preview image (JPEG2000 with GML geo-location)
  • tiles files with BOA reflectances image data file (GML / JPEG2000) for each tile
  • datastrip files
  • auxiliary data
  • ancillary data (Ground Image Processing Parameters (GIPPs))

More information on Level-2A format can be found in the SENTINEL-2 Technical Guide.