The main objective of the Sentinel-3 mission is to measure sea surface topography, sea and land surface temperature, and ocean and land surface colour with high accuracy and reliability to support ocean forecasting systems, environmental monitoring and climate monitoring. The Sentinel-3 complements the mission of Sentinel 2 and aims to measure sea surface topography, sea and land surface temperature, and ocean and land surface colour with high accuracy and reliability. The data collected is used to support ocean forecasting systems, environmental monitoring and climate monitoring. The mission also aims to map sea and land ice topography, monitor sea and inland water quality, pollution, and biological productivity, model climate change, identify changes in land use, and map forest cover.
The Sentinel-3 satellites are carrying a payload of several instruments linked to altimetry: the SRAL altimeter, which measures range; the radiometer, which measures perturbations due to atmospheric water vapor; three location systems (Doris, GNSS and LRA). In addition to these instruments, Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B carry the following payload instruments:
- Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI), a push-broom imaging spectrometer instrument
- Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), a dual view (near-nadir and backward views) conical imaging radiometer
The satellites have an operational lifetime of 7 years with 120 kg of hydrazine propellant allowing up to 12 years of continuous operations, including de-orbiting at the end of mission., with a possible 2-year extension. In order to ensure continuity of the mission, the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space for the construction of the Sentinel-3C and -3D satellites in 2018.
|16 February 2016
|25 April 2018
More on Copernicus
The Copernicus Programme is an Earth observation initiative that forms a crucial part of the European Union Space Programme. Managed by the European Commission in collaboration with various European organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Copernicus aims to establish a comprehensive Earth observation capacity that is global, continuous, autonomous, and of high quality. The primary objective of the programme is to provide accurate, timely, and easily accessible information to improve environmental management, understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure civil security.