Sentinel 3 [ESA / Pierre Carril]
ESA and Thales Alenia Space signed in April 2008 a 305 million contract for the Sentinel-3 Earth Observation satellite on 14 April 2008. Sentinel-3 will be devoted to oceanography and land-vegetation monitoring, as part of the European GMES programme. As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space is responsible for the satellite's design, development and integration.
Sentinel-3 will determine parameters such as sea surface topography, sea/land surface temperature, ocean colour and land colour with high-end accuracy and reliability. For this purpose, it carries an advanced radar altimeter and a multi-channel optical imaging instrument.
To achieve near-global coverage and meet all scientific requirements, Sentinel-3 will be placed in a high-inclination, sun-synchronous polar orbit. Near-realtime data processing and delivery will allow operational services to continuously profit from the mission.
ESA carried out the Sentinel-3 definition phase in 2005/6, drawing on an industrial consortium led by Thales Alenia Space. The implementation phase started in autumn 2007 and the launch of the first Sentinel-3 satellite is planned for 2012.
The satellite, designed for a minimum lifetime of 7 years, is carrying a payload comprising:
The OCLI and SLSTR instruments will also couple their data for a global vegetation monitoring mission, to determine the condition of vegetation and better manage its development. This mission was initiated by the Vegetation instrument developed by Thales Alenia Space in the 1990s.
Sentinel-3 features a 3 axis stabilized satellite flying in a frozen sun-synchronous orbit, with an orbit repeat cycle longer than 20 days as required for the topography mission and a local time at descending node located between 10:00 hr and 10:30 hr as desired for the optical instruments while keeping continuity with Envisat/ERS/SPOT missions. With a 1200 kg mass and 1.1 kW power consumption, Sentinel- 3 fits the baseline Vega launcher with Rokot-KM as back-up.
In December 2009 ESA signed a contract for a duplicate second spacecraft called Sentinel 3B. In January 2016, two more satellite, Sentinel 3C and Sentinel 3D, were ordered to be launched from 2021 onwards.
|Type / Application:||Earth Observing (Ocean)|
|Contractors:||Thales Alenia Space|
|Equipment:||OLCI, SLSTR, SRAL, MWR, GNSS receiver, laser tracking mirror, Doris receiver|
|Power:||Deployable solar array, batteries|
|Orbit:||815 km SSO|
|Sentinel 3A||2016-011A||16.02.2016||Pl LC-133/3||Rokot-KM|
|Sentinel 3B||-||2017||Ko ELV||Vega|
|Sentinel 3C||-||2021||Ko ELV||Vega (baselined)|
|Sentinel 3D||-||202x||Ko ELV||Vega|