Visiting Sentinel-6 in the clean room
Today we got a last glimpse of the Copernicus Sentinel-6 satellite by visiting the clean room at IABG in Ottobrun, Germany.
Sentinel-6 is momentarily based at the IABG facility in order to undergo further testing, and will later be shipped to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, for launch in late 2020.
This satellite is related to the recently launched Sentinel-3 satellite and will complement it by providing crucial data about our oceans.
Following on the path of Sentinel-3, Sentinel-6 will act as a reference mission for other ocean altimetry missions.
Sentinel-6 is very much an “ocean” satellite. It carries six instruments on board, all of which do a different job in monitoring multiple features of our waters, such as data related to ocean topography, coastal areas and in-land water.
Poseidon-4, the altimeter, is the main star of the mission and it will measure sea-level rise and ice thickness, continuing the long-standing record of mean sea level measurements that started with the French mission Topex-Poseidon and continued with the Jason missions.
This member of the Sentinel fleet of satellites will also provide important data for the forecasting of high-impact weather events, such as tropical cyclones and seasonal variations strongly influenced by the ocean, like El Niño.
Mapping up to 95% of the Earth’s oceans every 10 days, Sentinel-6 will provide vital information on ocean currents, wind speed and wave height for maritime safety.
Sentinel-6 is a result of a very successful international cooperation between the European Commission‘s Copernicus Programme, EUMETSAT, the European Space Agency (ESA), the French Space Agency (CNES), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Airbus Space.
Read more about it here.