Feb 24, 2015

Sentinel-2A earth observation satellite prepares for lift-off in June

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-2A earth observation satellite has completed testing and is preparing for launch on 12 June aboard a Vega rocket from Kourou space centre in French Guiana.

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The satellite completed various mechanical tests at IABG’s test facilities in Germany, including vibration, shock testing and acoustic tests. Its mass characteristics were also evaluated.

Sentinel-2A has also undergone space simulation tests in a thermal vacuum facility and other tests to determine its electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

The satellite will be shipped to the European spaceport in April.

Built by Airbus Defence and Space, the Sentinel-2A is part of Sentinel-2 system, and is said to deliver high-resolution, multi-spectral earth observation data using 13 spectral bands with a resolution of 10m, 20m or 60m, and a swath width of 290km.
bq. “Sentinel satellites provide remote sensing data of the earth for key operational services associated with environment and security.”

Accumulated data will assist in studying land use, soil sealing, land management, agriculture, forestry, natural disasters and humanitarian aid missions.

The Sentinel-2 system is part of the European Commission-led Copernicus programme, designed to establish multi-level operational earth observation capability for Europe.

Sentinel satellites provide remote sensing data of the earth for key operational services associated with environment and security.

Other member of the Sentinel-2 system, Sentinel-2B is scheduled for launch in mid-2016. The Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B satellites will be designed to capture images of the entire land surface on earth in less than five days.

Airbus Defence and Space was selected as the prime contractor for five of seven Sentinel missions.

The company carries out system design, platform and satellite integration and testing at its German site, develops multispectral instruments in France, and produces mechanical satellite structure, power, energy management and high-speed data acquisition units in Spain.

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