Launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the Copernicus program, Sentinel-1 plays a crucial role in offering a constant eye on our planet’s dynamic surface. It stands as the first mission among the five projects of the European Space Agency (ESA).

The view of the deployed Sentinel-1 spacecraft

1. Mission Objectives and Applications

  • The mission allows us to keep mapping the Earth with continuous radar mapping. Sentinel-1 is made to provide better and more frequent coverage, faster updates, and reliability. It helps with services and applications that need data collected over a long period.
  • The Sentinel-1 mission consists of a constellation of two identical satellites, Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B, working together to ensure global coverage. This dual-satellite system enables frequent revisits to specific regions, aiding in the detection of changes over time.
  • Sentinel-1B experienced an anomaly that rendered it unable to deliver radar data in December 2021, so the launch of Sentinel-1C is planned for 2024.

2. Technical Specifications

  • Sentinel-1 is equipped with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology. This powerful imaging instrument allows the satellite to observe Earth’s surface day or night, and through clouds, providing a great level of continuity in monitoring.
  • The satellites orbit at an elevation of 693 km and complete a full rotation around the Earth every 98.7 minutes.
  • First satellite was launched on the 3rd of April 2014 from Kourou, French Guiana.
  • The C-SAR comes with four observation modes, each tailored for specific purposes, offering varying swath and resolution: Stripmap (SM), Interferometric Wide swath (IW), Extra Wide swath (EW), and Wave (WV) mode. SM mode has an 80 km swath and 5 m spatial resolution, IW mode has a 250 km swath and a 5 m x 20 m resolution, EW mode has a 400 km swath and a 25 m x 100 m resolution.

3. Observation Frequency

  • Sentinel-1 captures images of the entire Earth’s surface every 12 days.

4. Open Access Data

  • The European Space Agency (ESA) follows an open data policy for the Sentinel missions, allowing users worldwide to access and use the data without any cost.

5. API access

With our API, you can search data, track satellite passes, and more using Sentinel-1.




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