One of the vital factors to keep a track on the Earth’s changing environment and also to guarantee a continuous flow of satellite data that would improve our daily lives is to carry out the same measurements over decades without any failure. But it becomes challenging to know that measurements from successive satellites, even though identical in shape, would fetch the similar kind of information. However, amidst such confusion, the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission would engage itself in some nifty orbital flying.
If we look deep into the mission, we will find out that Sentinel-3 is a two-satellite mission with the objective of supplying the coverage as well as the data delivery needed for Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. Sentinel-3A satellite was launched in the year of 2016. The primary goal of such a program was to measure oceans, land, ice and also the atmosphere as a whole. The primary objective behind such a step was to monitor and at the same time take into consideration the large-scale global dynamics and also provide crucial information for marine operations.
The second satellite that was developed was Sentinel-3B which was launched in April in the current year. It has already got its instruments calibrated and also commissioned for service. According to the inside news, once the Sentinel-3B will be an operation, the satellites will be orbiting the Earth at a distance of 140 km apart. S per the current situation, the satellites are stationed t much closer position, flying at a gap of 30 seconds alone. They are traveling at a speed of 7.4 kilometers every second. As such the separation distance can be calculated to 223 kilometers.
Although a couple of instruments in both the sentinels are same, such as the radar altimeter, an imaging spectrometer, and a radiometer, there is every chance that these instruments might behave slightly different from one another. In such a situation it is essential that any differences depicted through the devices are carefully accounted for. Otherwise, the interpretations may get wrong in respect to different changes taking place on the Earth’s surface. It is also essential to have a proper tandem phase for the future Sentinel-3 satellites.
ESA’s ocean scientist, Mr. Craig Donlon has said that Sentinel-3 ocean climate report will ultimately be fetched from four satellites since they will be launching two more satellites shortly.