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EARTH OBSERVATION
Free access to Copernicus Sentinel satellite data
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Nov 22, 2013


ESA is developing five new missions called Sentinels specifically for the operational needs of the Copernicus programme. The Sentinels will provide a unique set of observations, starting with the all-weather, day and night radar images from Sentinel-1 to be used for land and ocean services. Sentinel-2 will deliver high-resolution optical images for land services and Sentinel-3 will provide data for services relevant to the ocean and land. Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5 will provide data for atmospheric composition monitoring from geostationary and polar orbits, respectively. Copyright ESA.

Free and open access to Sentinel satellite data will be granted for the Copernicus operational phase. The European Delegated Act on Copernicus data and information policy will enter into force in the coming days.

This Act provides free, full and open access to users of environmental data from the Copernicus programme, including data from the Sentinel satellites.

This decision confirms the one recently adopted by ESA Member States - as current owners of the Sentinel satellites - for granting free and open access to Sentinel data. It will allow long-term continued access to data through the operational phase of Copernicus, led by the European Commission.

These data will dramatically improve the management of the environment, help to understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.

ESA is coordinating the acquisition and delivery of data through the Sentinel series of satellites, the first of which is set for launch next year.

This common approach on data policy confirms the coherence between the EU and ESA in the Copernicus programme. It paves the way for a successful uptake of the operational phase of the Copernicus Space Component, as well as the full economic benefits to come from the Copernicus programme.

Studies show that Copernicus could generate a financial benefit of some 30 billion euro and a minimum of about 50 000 new jobs by 2030.

"The free and open Sentinel data policy will be a breakthrough in the use of satellite data for specialised users, but also for the general public," said Josef Aschbacher, Head of the ESA Copernicus Space Office.

"It will create innovative solutions, such as providing satellite-based information on air or water quality for everyone."

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