Sentinel-3 OLCI and SLSTR Level 2 Products now fully operational

On 5 July, the stream of Copernicus Sentinel-3 data available from EUMETSAT will reach its full complement when the Level-2 products from the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) and Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data from the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) became operationally available to all users.

Tuesday, 04 July 2017

Blooms in the Baltic Sea

Sally Wannop, User Relation Manager, said: "This much anticipated release offers current and prospective users opportunities for exciting applications based on EUMETSAT’s integrated marine data stream. The Copernicus Sentinel-3 data truly offer a new view of our global oceans.”

Ocean colour data — monitoring the health of our planet

Ocean Colour data can be used for a wide variety of purposes. They can help to track and forecast harmful algal blooms, which can endanger humans, marine/freshwater life and aquaculture. They also support the monitoring of coastal water quality, by tracking sediment transports.

Ocean colour data are also of a truly global importance as they help monitor climate change: ocean colour is one of the so-called Essential Climate Variables (ECV) listed by the World Meteorological Organization that help detect biological activity in the ocean’s surface layer. In addition, phytoplankton take up carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis, making them important carbon sinks. Alternatively, ocean colour data can be used to monitor the annual global uptake of CO2 by phytoplankton on a global scale.

Figure 2
Figure 2: Sentinel-3 OLCI Level-2 Algal Pigment Concentration

Observations of ocean colour support studies of the Earth system, for instance through monitoring El Niño/La Niña events and their impacts on ocean living ecosystems.

And finally, ocean colour data can aid reporting obligations of the European Union's legislation within Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Water Framework Directive, the goal of which to achieve or maintain Good Environmental Status of the seas by the year 2020.

Ewa Kwiatkowska, Remote Sensing Scientist at EUMETSAT said: “The recent International Ocean Colour Science in Lisbon has clearly demonstrated how eagerly these data have been awaited by the international user community. Their outstanding quality is a result of the feedback provided by experts throughout the commissioning phase and coordinated efforts from EUMETSAT and the ESA mission performance centre.”

Sentinel-3A Product Notice – OLCI Level-2 Ocean Colour (PDF, 762 KB)

Sea Surface Temperature Data — taming the impact of storms

Figure 3
Figure 3: Sentinel-3 SLSTR Sea Surface Temperature Level-2 Ensemble Mean, 15–19 June 2017

The SLSTR instrument measures the intensity of radiant energy emitted from land and sea surfaces in nine spectral bands, including visible and infrared channels. Measuring sea surface temperature is important as the ocean plays an important role in shaping our climate and weather patterns.

In particular, sea surface temperature data is used as input for weather and ocean forecasting, to observe and monitor ocean current systems and ocean fronts, eddies, upwelling areas and much more.

Because of the importance of sea surface temperature to the global heat budget it is also monitored as an Essential Cimate Variable.

These data are also used to improve understanding of the ocean surface layer, upper ocean variability, energy transfer, air-sea interactions, and the impact of changes in the temperature of the ocean surface over the course of the day and changes between the temperature at the ocean surface and the depths below.

Like OLCI data they are used to help manage marine ecosystems, this time for identifying frontal areas bringing in large shoals of fish or monitoring coral bleaching events, and for travel and tourism.

Anne O’Carroll, Remote Sensing Scientist at EUMETSAT said: “Many teams in Europe have been collaborating together, over an intensive period of time, towards achieving the best possible data of sea surface temperature from SLSTR. It is exciting for all involved that these high quality sea surface temperature data will now be available to all users.

Sentinel-3A Product Notice – SLSTR Level-2 Sea Surface Temperature (PDF, 613 KB)

Full list of all the Copernicus Products


Easy Access to Sentinel-3 data

All data from OLCI and SLSTR are easily accessible through a number of sources:

These data from the optical instruments are available in near-real-time (NRT) formats (i.e. within three hours of sensing) and also as non-time-critical (NTC) products, with a requirement to be available within one month of sensing but typically delivered within 48 hours.

The OLCI L2 Ocean Colour data in Reduced Resolution will be distributed on EUMETCast Channel E1H-S3A-03 (PID: 600, Multicast address:

Example filename: S3A_OL_2_WRR____20170621T141102_20170621T145527_20170621T165407_2665_019_096______MAR_O_NR_002.SEN3.tar

The SLSTR L2 SST data will be distributed on EUMETCast Channel E1H-S3A-04 (PID: 600, Multicast address:

Example filename: S3A_SL_2_WST____20170621T153013_20170621T153212_20170621T165301_0118_019_096_5939_MAR_O_NR_002.SEN3.tar

To receive these products via EUMETCast, users should register via our Earth Observation Portal (EOP).

About Sentinel-3A

Carrying a suite of instruments, Sentinel-3A has been designed to measure Earth’s oceans, land, ice, and atmosphere, to monitor large-scale global dynamics, and to provide critical near-real time information for numerous ocean, land and weather applications.

While the operations of the Sentinel-3A satellite are carried out by EUMETSAT, the mission is managed jointly by ESA and EUMETSAT.

ESA is responsible for the land data products and EUMETSAT for the marine products — all of which are made available for different applications through the various Copernicus services as well as directly to all users through the free and open Copernicus Data Policy.

By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent for EUMETSAT to store certain information about you. To learn more about what information EUMETSAT collects and how it is used, please view our Terms of Use page.