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GI2.3/ESSI2.11/G5.4/NH6.7 Media

Scientific Exploitation of Copernicus Sentinels (co-organized)
Convener: Yves-Louis DESNOS  | Co-Conveners: Simon L. G. Jutz , Claus Zehner , Alessandra Tassa 
 / Thu, 27 Apr, 10:30–12:15
 / Attendance Thu, 27 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Copernicus will provide accurate, up-to-date and globally-available information on an operational basis for services and applications related to land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring as well as to emergency response and security in support of European policies. On behalf of the European Union, the European Commission manages the overall programme and coordinates the Copernicus Service Component whereas the European Space Agency manages the Copernicus Space Component, and the European Environment Agency coordinates the Copernicus In-situ Component.

The Copernicus Space Component comprises, in addition to a range of contributing missions, new missions called Sentinels that are being developed specifically for Copernicus and launched since 2014.

The Sentinels missions are primarily designed to provide routine observations for operational services. However the Sentinels missions are also very attractive for performing state of the art scientific research and developing innovative applications. Furthermore, the uptake of the data by the science communities is essential for improving existing services and/or developing new services, and thus supporting the evolution of the overall programme.

The first imaging radar mission Sentinel 1A, was launched successfully in April 2014 and following a successful in orbit commissioning the data were made available to the science community in October 2014. Its twin Sentinel 1B was launched in April 2016, successfully commissioned and handed over for mission operations in September 2016. Sentinel-1A and -1B , orbiting 180° apart, are providing a 6 days repeat for interferometry science and applications.

The first land monitoring optical mission Sentinel 2A, was launched successfully in June 2015 and completed its in orbit commissioning in October 2015. Sentinel 2A data have been opened to the science community in December 2015.

The first operational ocean and land observation mission Sentinel 3A, jointly operated by ESA-EUMETSAT, was launched in February 2016 and completed its in orbit commissioning in July 2016. The Sentinel 3A data will be made available to the science community in October 2016.

The Sentinels-4, -5 Precursor, and -5 missions will provide high spatio-temporal resolution information about atmospheric variables to be used for operational applications and science on air quality, stratospheric ozone, solar radiation, and climate monitoring. The Sentinel-5 Precursor mission carrying the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) UV-VIS-NIR-SWIR) is planned to be launched during 2017.
The Sentinel-6 mission, composed of a radar altimeter for oceanographic applications, will be launched in the next years.

The Sentinels data are freely distributed to scientists and the general public through a dedicated data hub set up by ESA. As of September 2016, almost 6 Petabytes of data have been downloaded (equivalent to more than 5 million products) by almost 45000 registered users from this hub. This large data use is the consequence of the open and free Sentinels data policy. In addition the Sentinels mission operations concept enables systematic observation and acquisition, fast processing and rapid dissemination of all sensed data.

The session is intended to outline the status of the Copernicus programme and to present the on going and future scientific exploitation activities that complement operational Copernicus services.