The European Space Agency (ESA) announced its Sentinel-2A Earth observation satellite has completed testing and is preparing for launch on June 12, 2015. The agency plans to launch two of the optical Earth observation satellites, with a revisit every five days at the equator and every 2-3 days at mid-latitude. The imagery will be collected in the visible, near infrared and shortwave bands, enhancing the continuity of both SPOT and Landsat data types.
The imagery will be collected at a 290 km swath width and is comprised of 13 spectral bands:
- 4 bands at 10-meter resolution
- 6 bands at 20-meter resolution
- 3 bands at 60-meter resolution
The mission is tailored for land management, agriculture, forests, disaster control and humanitarian relief missions. The color vision and rapid refresh rates are new ESA capabilities.
Sentinel-2 is relevant for key societal challenges, like food security for a growing population and climate change, said Volker Liebig, director of ESA's Earth Observation programmes.
The satellite is on its way to Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
This video provides a close-up view of the Sentinel-2 satellite:
This video shows the swath and the 13 spectral bands that will be collected: