The European Space Agency's Sentinel-3 satellite platform now is in France where instruments will be installed and tested for a sophisticated new mission to monitor Earth.
Once complete, Sentinel-3 will host an array of state-of-the-art instruments that focus mainly on measuring different aspects of ocean waters. The new technology will lead to a better understanding of the marine environment as well as that of the land, atmosphere and cryosphere.
The mission, which eventually will operate as a pair of satellites, is dedicated to providing data for services that will be offered through Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program, recently renamed Copernicus. The first Sentinel-3 satellite is due to be launched in 2014.
The satellite platform, apart from the solar arrays, was integrated and tested at Thales Alenia Space in Rome before being shipped to Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France. In the second half of this year the satellite will have its array of instruments installed before going through a stringent testing program in preparation for launch.
Image courtesy of Thales Alenia Space.