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ESA's Sentinel-3 full speed ahead for lift-off

ESA's Sentinel-3 full speed ahead for lift-off
By Everton Gayle

The European Space Agency is poised to launch the third satellite in the Copernicus programme called Sentinel-3 later this month.

The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed to deliver a wealth of data and imagery.

It will join others in space, which will measure the oceans, land and ice of the earth, as well as the atmosphere to observe major global phenomena.

The monitoring programme is making a step change in the way we view and manage our environment, understand and tackle the effects of climate change and safeguard everyday lives.

“The sentinel-3 is special in many aspects, says Susanne Mecklenburg,
Sentinel-3 Mission Manager at ESA.

“First of all, we have a quite special payload, we have three different instruments, we have a large variety of different data available, that will cover a large variety of applications, for operational applications, so for instance the Copernicus support purposes, but also for scientific applications. So we cover quite a large range”

Sentinel-3 will be able to measure the temperature, colour and height of the sea surface as well as the thickness of sea ice.

It will provide an image of way land is used, information on vegetation and also measure the height of rivers and lakes.

“It is possible for example to determine the constituents in the ocean and their flow in the ocean, like the presence of algae, chlorophyll, pollution, and how all this constituents move around the world,” says Constantin Mavrocordatos,
Sentinel-3 Payload Manager at ESA.

Data will be fed primarily into the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.

All the Copernicus services will benefit to produce knowledge and information products in near-real time.

The measurements will provide useful informations on the way we manage our environment, helping to better understand the effects of how our planet is changing.

Scientists are hoping to launch Sentinel-3B in 2017.