EUMETSAT has confirmed the readiness of its teams and the new version of its ground segment to support the launch and commissioning of the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite in a two-satellite configuration with Sentinel-3A.
Tuesday, 05 December 2017
The new version of the ground segment includes enhancements and upgrades necessary to exploit a dual Sentinel-3 system. Its acceptance follows a comprehensive campaign of verification and validation tests.
During the commissioning of Sentinel-3B, the two Sentinel-3 satellites will fly in close formation, 30 second apart. In this phase, ESA will manage Sentinel-3B flight operations, and EUMETSAT will be progressively ramping up its flight control activity to prepare the hand-over, while continuing to perform flight operations of Sentinel-3A.
The close formation flight will allow to compare thoroughly the measurements from all instruments aboard Sentinel-3A and –B, ensuring the best consistency between the products from the two satellites.
The completion of commissioning will lead to a handover of the Sentinel-3B satellite from ESA to EUMETSAT once the latter has been moved to it final orbital position, at a 140º phasing from Sentinel-3A, to form the full Sentinel-3 constellation. The 140° phasing was chosen to optimise global coverage and ensure optimised sampling of ocean currents by the combined altimeters on board Sentinel-3A and -3B.
Thus the Sentinel-3 constellation will also realise the best possible synergy with the cooperative Jason-3 high precision ocean altimeter mission, another Copernicus marine and climate mission exploited by EUMETSAT on behalf of the European Union.
Under the Copernicus data policy, all Sentinel-3 marine data and products are available on a full, free and open basis to all users through EUMETSAT’s Near Real Time dissemination channels EUMETCast, the Copernicus Online Data Access and EUMETview.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).
EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat -9, -10 and -11 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-8 over the Indian Ocean.
EUMETSAT operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason-2, Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and climate change.
The European Union has entrusted EUMETSAT with exploiting the four Sentinel missions of the Copernicus space component dedicated to the monitoring of atmosphere, ocean and climate on its behalf. EUMETSAT will carry out these tasks in cooperation with ESA.
EUMETSAT has established cooperation with operators of Earth Observation satellites from Europe and China, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.
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