Sentinel-5 Precursor

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Sentinel-5 Precursor
Operator ESA
Applications Atmospheric composition, air pollution, ozone layer monitoring
Spacecraft type Satellite
Bus Astrobus-L 250 M[1]
Design life 7 years
Launch mass 900 kilograms (2,000 lb)
Dry mass 820 kilograms (1,810 lb)
Dimensions 1.40 metres by 0.65 metres by 0.75 metres (4.59 ft × 2.13 ft × 2.46 ft) - height × width × length[2]
Power 1,500 watts (2.0 hp)
Batteries 156 Ah
Equipment TROPOMI
Status Under construction
Built 0
On order 1
Launched 0
Operational 0
First launch 2016[3]
Related spacecraft
Subsatellite of Sentinel constellation
← Sentinel-4 Sentinel-5

Sentinel-5 Precursor is an Earth observation satellite developed by the ESA as part of the Copernicus Programme to close the gap in continuity of observations between Envisat and Sentinel-5.[4]


Sentinel-5 Precursor will be the first mission of a Copernicus Programme dedicated to monitoring air pollution. It's instrument will be ultraviolet, visible, near and short-wavelength infrared spectrometer called Tropomi. Satellite is build on a hexagonal Astrobus L 250 satellite bus equipped in S- and X-band communication antennas, three foldable solar panels generating 1500W and a hydrazine thrusters for station-keeping.[1][2]

Once launched satellite will be put on 824 km Sun-synchronous orbit with a period of 13:30 hours.


Tropomi (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) will be a spectrometer sensing ultraviolet (UV), visible (VIS), near (NIR) and short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) to monitor ozone, methane, formaldehyde, aerosol, carbon monoxide, NO2 and SO2 in the atmosphere extending the capabilities of OMI from Aura satellite and SCIAMACHY instrument from Envisat.[5]

Instrument will be taking measurements every second covering an area of approximately 2600km wide and 7km long in a resolution of 7x7km. Light will be separated into a different wavelengths using grating spectrometers and then measured with four different detectors for respective spectral bands. UV spectrometer is going to work in spectral range of 270-320nm, visible light spectrometer in 310-500nm, NIR in 675-775nm and SWIR in 2305-2385nm.[6]

Instrument is split into four major blocks: UV-VIS-NIR spectrometers and a calibration block, SWIR spectrometer with its optics, instrument control unit and a cooling block. Total mass of Tropomi will be 200kg with a power consumption of 170W on average and a data output of 140 Gbits per orbit.[6][1]

Instrument is being build by a joint venture between the Netherlands Space Office, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands.[7][8]


First large contract for Sentinel-5P was signed in July 2009 for Tropomi instrument between the European Space Agency and Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs which contributed €78 million.[7] On 8 December 2011 ESA selected Astrium UK as a prime contractor for the satellite, signing contract worth €45.5 million[9] Construction of the satellite itself was completed in May 2014, however it still awaits for its primary instrument.[10]

Satellite will be launched by Eurockot Launch Services onboard Rokot in 2016.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Sentinel 5 Data Sheet" (PDF). ESA. August 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Copernicus: Sentinel-5P (Precursor - Atmospheric Monitoring Mission)". eoPortal. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "ESA books Eurockot Launch for Sentinel-5p Satellite". Eurockot Launch Services. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sentinels -4/-5 and -5P". ESA. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "TROPOMI". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "TROPOMI: Instrument". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Agreement between the Netherlands and ESA signed for Sentinel-5 Precursor instrument". ESA. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sentinel 5-Precursor/TROPOMI". Netherlands Institute for Space Research. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "ESA selects Astrium to build Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite". ESA. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Platform brings air monitoring a step closer". ESA. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 

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