Minimize Radiometric Resolutions

SENTINEL-2 Radiometric Resolutions

SENTINEL-2 data are acquired on 13 spectral bands in the VNIR and SWIR:

  • four bands at 10 m: Band 2, Band 3, Band 4, and Band 8
  • six bands at 20 m: Band 5, Band 6, Band 7, Band 8a, Band 11, and Band 12
  • three bands at 60 m: Band 1, Band 9, and Band 10

Radiometric resolution is the capacity of the instrument to distinguish differences in light intensity or reflectance. The greater the radiometric resolution, the more accurate the sensed image will be.

Radiometric resolution is routinely expressed as a bit number, typically in the range of 8 to 16 bits. The radiometric resolution of the MSI instrument is 12 bit, enabling the image to be acquired over a range of 0 to 4095 potential light intensity values. The radiometric accuracy is less than 5% (goal 3%). Radiometric resolution is also dependent upon the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of the detector.

Table 1: 10 m Spatial Resolution Bands and associated Signal to Noise ratio (SNR)

Band number

S2A

S2B

Lref

(reference radiance)

(W m−2 sr−1 μm−1)

SNR @ Lref

Central wavelength (nm)

Bandwidth (nm)

Central wavelength (nm)

Bandwidth (nm)

2

496.6

98

492.1

98

128

154

3

560.0

45

559

46

128

168

4

664.5

38

665

39

108

142

8

835.1

145

833

133

103

174

 

Table 2: 20 metre Spatial Resolution Bands and associated Signal to Noise ratio (SNR)

Band number

S2A

S2B

Lref

(reference radiance)

(W m−2 sr−1 μm−1)

SNR @ Lref

Central wavelength (nm)

Bandwidth (nm)

Central wavelength (nm)

Bandwidth (nm)

5

703.9

19

703.8

20

74.5

117

6

740.2

18

739.1

18

68

89

7

782.5

28

779.7

28

67

105

8a

864.8

33

864

32

52.5

72

11

1613.7

143

1610.4

141

4

100

12

2202.4

242

2185.7

238

1.5

100


Table 3: 60 metre Spatial Resolution Bands and associated Signal to Noise ratio (SNR)

Band number

S2A

S2B

Lref

(reference radiance)

(W m−2 sr−1 μm−1)

SNR @ Lref

Central wavelength (nm)

Bandwidth (nm)

Central wavelength (nm)

Bandwidth (nm)

1

443.9

27

442.3

45

129

129

9

945.0

26

943.2

27

9

114

10

1373.5

75

1376.9

76

6

50