Home > Public Domain Data > First Copernicus satellite launched – data to be made public

First Copernicus satellite launched – data to be made public

Last week the European Union (EU) announced the launch of the Sentinel-1A satellite, as part of the first of six missions that will provide the framework for the Copernicus Earth Observation project. Copernicus, formerly known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), aims to collect data from a variety of sources, including satellite, airborne sensors and ground stations, to support a range of applications including:

  1. Monitoring sea ice zones and the Arctic environment

  2. Assimilation of sea ice observations in the forecasting systems

  3. Surveillance of marine environment, including oil-spill monitoring and ship detection for maritime security

  4. Monitoring land surface motion risks

  5. Mapping of land surfaces: forest, water and soil, sustainable agriculture

  6. Mapping in support of humanitarian aid in crisis situations

  7. Climate monitoring

(source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-251_en.htm)

A second satellite, Sentinel-1B, will be launched next year. Once the system is fully operational, the aim is to provide almost daily coverage for high priority areas like Europe, Canada and some shipping routes. The radar capabilities on-board the satellite mean that data can be collected independent of weather conditions, day or night.

Sentinel-1 radar vision

Sentinel-1 radar vision

Image source: http://bit.ly/1el9g6M

All of the data products collected by the Sentinel satellites are to be made publicly available as open data, free of charge, to all data users. This also includes the use of the data for commercial purposes. The Sentinel-1A satellite is expected to be operational within three months.




  1. Jill Clark
    April 21, 2014 at 7:24 am

    First images from Sentinel-1A have been received, just two weeks after the satellite was launched. Although the satellite isn’t in operational orbit yet, a preliminary set of images from a number of locations including Namibia and the Antarctic have been posted on the European Space Agency website (http://bit.ly/1l1ym34).

  1. April 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm
  2. June 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm
  3. September 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm

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