Cannes, April 6th, 2016
– The Sentinel-3A Earth observation satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor on behalf of the European Space Agency for the European Commission’s Copernicus program, has reached the stage when all its instrument are operating and transmitting their scientific data, in line with the expectations for this global ocean and land monitoring mission.
Sentinel-3A was launched on February 16. It is now operating nominally and all instruments are activated. The OLCI (Ocean and Land Color Instrument), which transmitted its first image on February 29, is designed to measure ocean and land colours, in bandwidths ranging from visible to near infrared.
The SLSTR (Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer) has also transmitted data in line with expectations, starting on March 2 in visible bandwidths, then, after a scheduled decontamination, on March 22 in all bandwidths up to infrared.
The SRAL (SAR Altimeter) has been transmitting data since March 2, while the MWR (Microwave Radiometer), activated on February 29, provides complementary data for the satellite’s surface topography mission.
However, the satellite has not been officially commissioned, since a number of validation and calibration tests must still be performed in the coming months. The in-orbit acceptance review and validation of level-1 products allowing start of Sentinel-3 nominal operations are planned for July 2016.
© © Thales Alenia Space/Imag[IN]
Photos copyrights: ESA/Pierre Carril - Thales Alenia Space/Imag[IN]
About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%), is a key European player in space telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, exploration and orbital infrastructures. Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio form the two parent companies' “Space Alliance”, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Because of its unrivaled expertise in dual (civil/military) missions, constellations, flexible payloads, altimetry, meteorology and high-resolution optical and radar instruments, Thales Alenia Space is the natural partner to countries that want to expand their space program. The company posted consolidated revenues of 2.1 billion euros in 2015, and has 7,500 employees in eight countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com