As of today, EUMETSAT has responsibility for the full dual spacecraft operations of Sentinel-3A and 3B and the marine data production. In the coming few weeks, the team will complete those commissioning activities which could only be performed in the nominal orbital configuration and will ramp up the product releases.
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
With one exception, all products are expected to be released before the end of the year. In any case, the full product suite and entry into operations for the dual satellite system is expected to be confirmed at the Routine Operations Review which will be held at the end of January 2019.
After its launch on 25 April and successful and record breaking Launch and Early Orbit Phase, of only 25 hours and thirty minutes, Sentinel-3B entered the commissioning phase, where all instruments of the satellite were thoroughly checked. Commissioning also included a series of special mission activities carried out during the period when both Sentinel-A and Sentinel-B were operated in tandem. During this period, Sentinel-3B was placed on the same orbital track as Sentinel-3A, but 30 seconds in front of it. The tandem phase started on 6 of June and ended on 16 October and allowed the cross-calibration of instruments on Sentinel-3B against those on Sentinel-3A.
At the In-Orbit Commissioning Review on 17 October, the Sentinel-3B satellite was confirmed to be in good health and the readiness to start the release of the Sentinel-3B products was confirmed. A drift phase was then performed, which has shifted Sentinel-3B into its nominal orbital position 140° in advance of Sentinel-3A. This means, the full constellation for the Sentinel-3 mission has now been reached.