Just four days after being established into orbit, Europe’s Sentinel-2A satellite delivered its first images of Earth, offering a glimpse of the ‘colour vision’ that it will provide for the Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. With a swath width of 290 km, the satellite’s first acquisition began in Sweden and made a strip-like observation through central Europe and the Mediterranean, ending in Algeria.
“This new satellite will be a game changer in Earth observation for Europe and for the European Copernicus programme,” said Philippe Brunet, Director for Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence at the European Commission.
The Director of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes, Volker Liebig, commented, “Sentinel-2 will enable us to provide data for the programme’s land monitoring services and will be the base for a wide spectrum of applications reaching from agriculture to forestry, environmental monitoring to urban planning.”
Sentinel-2A is the second satellite for Europe’s Copernicus programme, following the Sentinel-1A radar satellite launched last year. Designed as a two-satellite mission, Sentinel-2 will provide optical imagery on a five-day revisit cycle once its twin, Sentinel-2B, is launched in 2016.