The EU and European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) new satellite, Sentinel 2A , which was launched on Tuesday, has provided its first images of the Earth covering parts of Sweden, central Europe and the Mediterranean.
Although the most northern and central parts of the European continent were cloudy, the sunnier Italian weather allowed initial assessment of the performance of the multispectral optical instrument. With a spatial resolution of 10 meters, buildings in Milan, land parcels on the banks of the River Po and details of the ports of the French coast are all visible. According to ESA, “the quality of these first images and exceeds expectations.”
New view of Earth
“This new satellite will be a game changer in Earth observation for Europe and the European Copernicus program,” said Philippe Brunet, director of Space, Copernicus and Defense Policy at the European Commission.
For his part, the Director of Programs Earth Observation of ESA, Volker Liebig stated: “Sentinel-2 will allow us to provide data services for terrestrial monitoring and will be the basis for a wide range of applications ranging from agriculture to forestry, environmental monitoring and urban planning.”
This new satellite imagery will be free to the public from October, and is planned to be used by scientists and public officials for applications such as forest fire impact assessment and agriculture, supporting the more efficient application of fertilizers. Other applications include the impact of climate change on large scale features such as glaciers and the extent of deserts.
Sentinel 2A’s companion satellite, Sentinel 2B, will be launched in mid-2016 with the aim of providing optical images of the entire planet every five days.
For more information go to TVE.