New satellite to keep a space eye on the oceans
Sentinel-3A, a new ocean monitoring satellite, will be launched into space next week on Tuesday 16 February from Plesetsk, Russia.
Sentinel-3A will orbit the Earth, roughly from pole-to-pole, at an average height of 815 km.
Carrying three main instruments onboard, it will be able to measure global sea level, sea surface temperature and ocean colour.
It will also be able to monitor land temperature and colour and tiny particles (aerosols) in the atmosphere.
How will data from Sentinel-3A be used?
The marine data that Sentinel-3 collects will be used to help monitor the oceans and for weather forecasting. It will also help people to manage marine ecosystems e.g., fish stocks, and to monitor water quality and pollution.
On top of that, the data will be used to help map sea ice, help ships find the best routes and for climate monitoring.
On the land, Sentinel-3 data will be used to track how land is being used, to monitor vegetation, measure the height of rivers and lakes, and monitor wildfires.
Who will operate Sentinel-3A?
EUMETSAT will operate the satellite and deliver the marine data while ESA will deliver the land data.
Find out more:
Follow ESA’s Sentinel-3 blog
Watch the launch live on ESA TV
How satellites monitor the oceans