Sentinel-2B is the fifth satellite of the ambitious Copernicus Earth-observation programme. Sentinel-2 is a joint ESA-EU programme designed as a constellation of two identical satellites. Sentinel-2A was launched in June 2015 and is set to be joined in orbit by Sentinel-2B on Monday 6 March. Together, they will deliver high-resolution optical imagery to extend the data record built up by the SPOT and Landsat satellites. As it did previously for Sentinel-2A, CNES will be carrying out the delicate task of calibrating and fine-tuning Sentinel-2B’s instrument for ESA under its longstanding partnership with the agency.
Since being launched, Sentinel-2A has been providing global coverage of Earth’s land surfaces every 10 days. This repeat coverage cycle will now be reduced to five days operating in tandem with Sentinel-2B. Thanks to their Multi Spectral Instrument (MSI), the two satellites will combine 10-metre resolution with a wide imaging swath. The Earth- and ocean-observing Sentinel-2 constellation is designed chiefly for global monitoring of land surfaces and shorelines. Sentinel-2 data will serve applications monitoring vegetation, soils and habitats, in particular for agriculture.
With a launch mass of 1.1 tonnes and a mission lifetime of 7 years, Sentinel-2B was built by prime contractor Airbus Defence & Space on behalf of ESA to serve the European Union and its citizens.
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