Published on 2 May 2018
The successful launch on April 25th of the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite from Plesetsk, Russia, will establish the European backbone of a space-based, global ocean monitoring system at the service of operational oceanography.
The spacecraft will form a two-satellite constellation with Sentinel-3A, launched in February 2016, and thus complete the full deployment of the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission to offer marine data users the global and frequent observations they need to monitor and forecast the ocean.
The dual-satellite Sentinel-3 mission is one of the six Sentinel missions deployed and exploited by ESA and EUMETSAT as the space component of the European Union’s flagship Copernicus Earth observation programme.
Under an agreement with the EU, EUMETSAT already performs flight operations of the Sentinel-3A satellite in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA). EUMETSAT also extracts marine products from the observations of the three instrument suites, the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI), the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) and the Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimeter (SRAL) and distributes them in real time, while ESA is responsible for land observations and products. In addition, EUMETSAT exploits the Jason-3 high precision ocean altimeter mission in synergy with Sentinel-3A on behalf of the EU, in partnership with CNES, NOAA and NASA.
After contributing to the new satellite commissioning led by the European Space Agency (ESA), EUMETSAT will take over the control of Sentinel-3B, perform flight operations of the Sentinel-3 two-satellite configuration from its Darmstadt headquarters and deliver two Sentinel-3 marine data streams.