The Copernicus ProgrammeSentinel-2 is an Earth observation mission developed by ESA to perform terrestrial observations in support of services such as forest monitoring, land cover changes detection, and natural disaster management.
Systematic global coverage of land surfaces from 56° S to 84° N, coastal waters, and all of the Mediterranean sea;
Revisiting every 5 days at the Equator under the same viewing conditions;
Spatial resolution of 10 m, 20 m and 60 m;
290 km field of view
To achieve frequent revisits and high mission availability, two identical Sentinel-2 satellites (Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B) are planned to operate simultaneously. The planned orbit is Sun-synchronous at 786 km altitude (14.3 revolutions per day) with a 10:30 a.m. descending node. This local time was selected as a compromise between minimizing cloud cover and ensuring suitable Sun illumination. It is close to the Landsat local time and matches SPOT’s, allowing the combination of Sentinel-2 data with historical images to build long-term time series. The two satellites will work on opposite sides of the orbit. The launch of the first satellite is expected on 12 June 2015 on a Vega launch vehicle.
In June 2013, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) released and distributed training data sets acquired by the SPOT 4 satellite with the same repetitivity as planned for Sentinel-2, to help future Sentinel-2 users develop methods and applications based on multitemporal data. This experiment, named SPOT4 (Take5), was held between February and June 2013, and provided time series over 45 sites for a variety of applications. To obtain this data set, the orbital altitude of SPOT4 was decreased by 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) in order to place it in a 5-day revisit cycle.
This experiment is being repeated with the SPOT 5 satellite, thanks to a co-funding from ESA and CNES, between April and September 2015. This time 150 sites will be observed. The first data will be freely available to users from the end of June.