New ESA satellite – Sentinel-2A delivers first images

The new ESA satellite – Sentinel-2A was successfully launched on 23 June, 2015.  See below for the key facts of the satellite.  The first few images obtained by the satellite have been released.  The data will be freely available to the public later this year. Stay tune!

Orbit: Polar, Sun-synchronous at altitude of 786 km

Revisit time: Five days from two-satellite constellation (at equator)

Coverage: Systematic coverage of land and coastal areas between 84°N and 56°S

Instrument: Multispectral imager (MSI) covering 13 spectral bands (443 nm–2190 nm) with a swath width of 290 km and spatial resolutions of 10 m (4 visible and near-infrared bands), 20 m (6 red-edge/shortwave-infrared bands) and 60 m (3 atmospheric correction bands)

The imager’s 13 spectral bands, from the visible and the near infrared to the shortwave infrared at different spatial resolutions, take land monitoring to an unprecedented level. In fact, Sentinel-2 is the first optical Earth observation mission of its kind to include three bands in the ‘red edge’, which provide key information on the state of vegetation.

The spacecraft will also be readied to start the routine acquisition of high-resolution images of Earth’s land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters on a ten-day revisit cycle, which will drop to five days when the constellation with the Sentinel-2B satellite is implemented in 2016.

French Riviera

Algerian Sahara

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About Qiusheng Wu

Assistant Professor of Geography at Binghamton University, State University of New York

Posted on July 2, 2015, in GIS/RS, Sci/Tech and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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