About Copernicus

Background information about the Copernicus programme

Copernicus is a European system for monitoring the Earth using satellites and in situ sensors, such as ground, airborne and seaborne sensors.

Data from these sources are then processed and provided to users through a set of six Copernicus services: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management and security.

All data are free and open to all.


The Earth observation satellites which provide the data exploited by the Copernicus services are split into two groups of missions:
The Sentinels, which are currently being developed for the specific needs of the Copernicus programme. Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, -3, -5P and Sentinel-6  are dedicated satellites, while Sentinel-4  and Sentinel-5  are instruments onboard EUMETSAT’sMTG  and Metop-SG  satellites. 

The Contributing Missions, are operated by national, European or international organisations and already provide a wealth of data for Copernicus services.

EUMETSAT is responsible for operating the Sentinel-3 satellites and delivering the marine mission and will also operate and deliver products from the Sentinel-4, and -5 instruments, and the Sentinel-6 satellites.
ESA and EUMETSAT will coordinate the delivery of data from upwards of 30 satellites that form the Contributing Missions



Last Updated:  Tuesday, 12 January 2016
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