Sentinel is a multi-satellite project to be launched from 2014, being developed by ESA under the Copernicus Programme (formerly Global Monitoring for Environment and Security or GMES). The Sentinel missions include satellite radar and super-spectral imaging for land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring.
The Sentinel missions will have the following objectives:
- Sentinel 1 will provide all-weather, day and night radar imaging for land and ocean services. The first of two Sentinel-1 satellites is planned for launch in Spring 2014.
- Sentinel 2 will provide high-resolution optical imaging for land services (e.g. imagery of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas). Sentinel-2 will also provide information for emergency services. The first Sentinel-2 satellite is planned for launch in 2014.
- Sentinel 3 will provide ocean and global land monitoring services. The first Sentinel-3 satellite is planned for launch in 2014.
- Sentinel 4, embarked as a payload upon a Meteosat Third Generation Satellite, will provide data for atmospheric composition monitoring. It will be launched in 2019.
- Sentinel 5 Precursor - subset of the Sentinel 5 sensor set planned for launch in 2015. The primary purpose of this was to provide overlapping data (especially SCIAMACHY atmospheric observations) with the aging ENVISAT. However contact with ENVISAT was lost in April 2012 and the mission was declared ended in May 2012. It is unknown whether Sentinel 5 Precursor will be rescheduled as a result.
- Sentinel 5 will also provide data for atmospheric composition monitoring. It will be embarked on a post-EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) spacecraft and launched in 2020.
- Sentinel 6 will sustain high precision ocean altimetry missions following the Jason-3 satellite mission.