The SENTINEL-1 SAR is capable of operating up to 25 minutes per orbit in any of the three high bit rate modes (SM, IW, EW). To avoid distributing huge unwieldy products to end users, the Level-0 and Level-1 products are segmented into 'slices' of defined length along a track. Product slices make the data more manageable for users and enable the ground segment to process slice data in parallel.
Figure 1: One Data-Take With Slices
Each product slice is a stand-alone product that can be processed independently. Slices are ~25 seconds in length for SM and IW and ~60 seconds for EW. Each GeoTIFF band within a product slice will be no larger than 2 GB. However, since a product could contain several bands for swaths and polarisations, the overall product size could be much larger.
WV data is not sliced and the full segment is processed into Level-2.
Assembling Sliced Products
Level-1 slice products are of seamless quality without any data gap or duplicated lines and with no geometric, radiometric or phase discontinuity. Sliced products may be seamlessly combined, including the metadata, into an assembled product. Product assembly follows specific rules for including, merging and concatenating the various components of the slice products.
Assembly is not performed by the Instrument Processing Facility for systematically archived data. Software such as ESA's SNAP toolbox is needed to concatenate data slices together including annotations.