Rome, April 14, 2016
– The Sentinel-1B satellite, designed and built by Thales Alenia Space is ready to be launched on April 22, from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, by a Soyuz-Fregat A rocket. This satellite is part of the European Commission’s vast Copernicus Earth observation program, coordinated by the European Commission, with the European Space Agency (ESA) in charge of the space segment.
Thales Alenia Space is program prime contractor, responsible for the design, development, integration and testing of the Sentinel-1 family, including Sentinel 1A, launched in 2014, as well as Sentinel-1C and 1D, to be launched as from 2021.
In orbit for nearly two years, Sentinel-1A has already delivered a huge volume of data concerning environmental and natural disaster monitoring. For example, it has generated some 1,200 radar scenes that clearly show changes in glaciers near the Greenland coast, while also tracking monsoon flooding and landslides in Myanmar – an emergency situation for which its radar sensor was immediately activated.
The Sentinel-1 family ensures data continuity with ESA’s previous ERS and Envisat missions, while also improving accuracy and resolution. Along with Sentinel-1A, Sentinel-1B will reduce revisit time from 12 to 6 days, thereby speeding up the localization of geo-climatic fluctuations within the areas under observation.
The Sentinel-1B satellite, based on the PRIMA platform developed by Thales Alenia Space on behalf of the Italian space agency ASI, will weigh about 2,200 kilograms at launch. It will be placed in an orbit at 700 kilometers and will offer resolution ranging between 5 and 25 meters, depending on the operating mode chosen. Users will enjoy a continuous stream of images, day or night and under all weather conditions.
Photo copyright: ©ESA