Aug 25, 2014

Airbus-Built Sentinel 2A Satellite Enters Environmental Testing

Airbus Defence and Space has delivered the Sentinel 2A Earth Observation (EO) satellite to IABG, near Munich, Germany, for environmental testing. Engineers will evaluate the 1.2-ton spacecraft’s readiness for space prior to its launch in the first half of 2015.

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Sentinel 2A is one of the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) satellites for the Copernicus program, capable of delivering optical images ranging from visible-near infrared to short-wave infrared. The satellites use 13 spectral bands with resolutions of 10, 20 or 60 meters, and a swath width of 290-km. An identical satellite, Sentinel 2B, is slated to launch in 2016. Together the two satellites will be able to image all of Earth’s landmass in five days.

Copernicus is a joint environmental project between ESA and the European Commission. The satellites primary purposes will be use studying land use and management, soil sealing, forest monitoring, and natural disasters.