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Sentinel 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D

Sentinel 1 [ESA]

The Sentinel-1 satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in 2011, is part of the GMES program - Global Monitoring for Environment and Security - a set of Earth observation missions co-funded by ESA and the European Commission. GMES represents the European answer to the ever-increasing requirements of environmental control, and thus provides an important contribution to environmental policies at a global level.

As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space Italy is responsible for the design, development and integration of the satellite that will carry a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The radar will be based on Thales Alenia Space's key technologies such as the Transmit-Receive modules inside the active antenna.

Based on a Prima platform, developed by Thales Alenia Space for the Italian Space Agency, Sentinel-1 will weigh 2,280 kilograms at launch and will look at the Earth in swaths up to 700 kilometers with a ground resolution of between 5 and 25 meters according to the selected operative mode.

The ESA Sentinel suite is composed of five satellites series. Sentinel-1 will ensure the continuity with ERS and Envisat C-band SAR data. Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellites are scheduled for launch in 2012 and will support land and ocean monitoring. Sentinel-4 and 5 will be dedicated to meteorology and climatology through atmospheric chemistry study.

In December 2009 ESA signed a contract for a duplicate second spacecraft called Sentinel-1B to be launched in 2016. In December 2015, a contract for two more satellites, Sentinel 1C and 1D, was signed. These will be launched from 2021 onwards.

Nation: Europe
Type / Application: Earth Observing (Radar)
Operator: ESA
Contractors: Thales Alenia Space
Equipment: C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
Configuration: Prima Bus
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 7.25 years
Mass: 2280 kg (1A); 2164 kg (#1B)
Orbit: 695 km × 700 km, 98.2 (#1B)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Sentinel 1A 2014-016A 03.04.2014 Ko ELS Soyuz-STA Fregat-M
Sentinel 1B 2016-025A 25.04.2016 Ko ELS Soyuz-STA Fregat-M with MICROSCOPE, AAUSAT 4, e-st@r 2, OUFTI 1
Sentinel 1C - 2021
Sentinel 1D - 202x


  • Thales Alenia Website