What is Sentinel-3?
Sentinel-3 is primarily an ocean mission, however, the mission will also be able to provide atmospheric and land applications. The mission will provide data continuity for the ERS, Envisat and SPOT satellites.
Sentinel-3 will make use of multiple sensing instruments to accomplish its objectives; SLSTR (Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer), OLCI (Ocean and Land Colour Instrument), SRAL (SAR Altimeter), DORIS, and MWR (Microwave Radiometer).
26 January 2017
ESA's Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) mission will orbit in tandem with one of the Copernicus constellation satellites. Taking advantage of Sentinel-3's optical and thermal sensors will lead to an integrated package of measurements to assess plant health. With the Sentinel-2 satellites also in orbit, there is a unique opportunity of using this data synergistically from all three missions for vegetation studies.
13 December 2016
Launched in February 2016 with a suite of cutting-edge instruments, Sentinel-3A is arguably the most comprehensive of all the Copernicus Sentinel missions. Since then, the satellite has been thoroughly tested and fine-tuned. This led to the release of its first Earth colour data in October and first radiometer data last month. Now, the public also have access to data from its radar altimeter.
Orbit Type: Sun-synchronous
Resolution and Swath Width:
In addition to the observation instruments, the Sentinel-3 spacecraft will carry the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and LRR (Laser Retro Reflector) instruments. GNSS will provide precise orbit determination and can track multiple satellites simultaneously. LRR will be used to accurately locate the satellite in orbit using a laser ranging system.
The dimensions of the craft are: 3.7 x 2.2 x 2.2 m with a weight (at time of launch) of 1250 kg.
Thales Alenia Space is the prime contractor, responsible for constructing the spacecraft and the SRAL instrument, as well as contributing to the supply of the SLSTR instrument.