Sentinel-3 is a Low Earth Orbiting mission to support services relating to the marine and global land environment, with capability to serve further atmospheric- and cryospheric-based application areas. The first Sentinel-3 satellite is expected to launch in 2014, followed by a second so they work together to provide maximum coverage.
The objectives of the Sentinel-3 mission encompass the commitment to consistent, long-term collection of remotely sensed marine and land data, of uniform quality, for operational ocean state analysis, forecasting and service provision, in the context of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security).
The mission's main objective is to determine parameters such as sea-surface topography, sea- and land-surface temperature as well as ocean- and land-surface colour with high-end accuracy and reliability. Near-real time data processing and delivery will allow a broad range of GMES services for both the marine and land environment to continuously profit from the mission.
European Commission and ESA Partnership
Led by the European Commission, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Copernicus programme will provide a unique tool to monitor the environment. This initiative will fulfil policy-makers' growing needs to access accurate and timely information to better manage the environment; understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, and ensure civil security.
ESA is responsible for the development of the Sentinel-3 space and ground components and it will serve the land user community with near real-time and offline products.
Role of EUMETSAT
EUMETSAT is set to continue providing technical expertise and ongoing support to GMES with the launch of the next Sentinel missions. At its 67th Council meeting, held in July 2009 in Darmstadt (Germany), EUMETSAT adopted a Programme Proposal on the Sentinel-3 Third Party Programme, thereby allowing EUMETSAT to initiate the relevant development activities in order to achieve readiness to begin activities as an operator of Sentinel-3, serving the marine user community with near-real-time and off-line products. These activities are ultimately under the responsibility of ESA.