Sentinel - 1, consisting of Sentinel -1A and Sentinel -1B is a pair of radar satellite, which is part of the Sentinel satellite series. These are Earth observation satellites of the Copernicus program ( formerly GMES, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) of the ESA.

Tasks and tools

Sentinel - 1 has the task of making radar-based observations of the Earth from its orbit some 700 km high. He flies in a near polar orbit and scans the Earth in strips from. The width of the observed stripes varies depending on the observation mode between 80 and 400 km. Sentinel 1 scans the surface with a C-band SAR ( Synthetic Aperture Radar) having a wavelength of 6 cm. The active antenna of the satellite consists of 560 individual antennas coupled together.

The radar can operate in four different observation modes ( resolutions range × azimuth ):

Access to the data

The ESA provides open and free access to the data that is collected by the Sentinel satellites. Here, no distinction is made between public, commercial, and scientific use, nor between European and non - European users.

Objectives of the mission

The data will be used in the areas of Environment, Climate Impact Research, transport, economy and safety. From them are then promptly ( "near- realtime" in about an hour ) images and maps for warning of extreme weather events, for shipping and also for long-term research created mainly for Europe, Canada and the two polar regions. Building on previous missions ( called will of the 2012 failed Envisat ) are supplemented that require a series of long-term data applications, as well as the long-term effects of climate change explored - such as the extent of Arctic sea ice, the mass balance of the continental ice sheets and glaciers. The radar can also distinguish between the thinner, one-year sea ice and the more dangerous, much thicker multi-year ice to make the year-round navigation in ice-covered regions of the Arctic and sub - Arctic for shipping safer. Environmental data can be used for the detection of oil pollution and other environmental contaminants.

Mission History

Sentinel -1A was launched on April 3, 2014 at 21:02 UTC, the satellite was separated 23 minutes and 24 seconds after lift-off from the upper stage of the Soyuz rocket. The launch of the Sentinel -1B is vorgesehen.Vorlage a few years later: Future / In 4 years