Just weeks before Sentinel-2B is packed up and sent to French Guiana for its launch next March, media representatives and specialists got one last look at the second satellite for Europe’s Copernicus program.
At ESA’s site in the Netherlands, the Sentinel-2B satellite, which has been undergoing testing since June, has now completed its testing program.
Sentinel-2 is designed as a two-satellite constellation: Sentinel-2A and -2B. Sentinel-2A was launched on June 23, 2015, and has been providing routine imagery for the EU Copernicus Land Monitoring Service, among others. Once Sentinel-2B is launched and operational, the constellation will cover the globe every five days.
Offering ‘color vision’ for Europe’s environmental monitoring Copernicus program, the Sentinel-2 program combines high-resolution and novel multispectral capabilities to monitor Earth’s changing lands in unprecedented detail and accuracy.
Information from this mission is helping to improve agricultural practices, monitor the world’s forests, and detect pollution in lakes and coastal waters, and contributes to disaster mapping, to name a few of its uses.
“Sentinel-2B will be the fifth satellite launched for Copernicus,” said Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA’s Earth Observation programs. “The Sentinels already in orbit are providing massive amounts of data: 6.5 petabytes so far. More data is downloaded by Sentinels every day than is uploaded to Facebook in the form of photos.”
In the Netherlands, Sentinel-2B has been subjected to the vibrations and noise of launch, undergone solar array deployment, and sat in a thermal–vacuum chamber to simulate the harsh space environment.
November 16, 2016