BackForward Satellite Programme: Sentinel-3 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Two-satellite programme for ocean and land observation, to provide continuity to the Envisat MERIS, RA-2 and AATSR.
  • ESA programme co-sponsored by the European Commission in the context of the Copernicus programme (formerly: GMES, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security).  ESA responsible of development and early operations, EUMETSAT responsible of routine operations.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time is 7.5 years.
  • The satellites are launched at a short time interval in order to fly in constellation for larger combined swath and redundancy.  Sunsynchronous orbit around 10:00.  180° dephasing between the two satellites.
  • See detailed description at
  • https://www.eoportal/satellite-missions/copernicus-sentinel-3.
Data circulation
  • The global data are stored onboard and downlinked to the Svalbard station.
  • Real-time data can be received at appointed stations.
  • Data are processed at the Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS), a distributed system common to other Sentinel satellites of the GMES framework.
  • Specific products for Marine use are processed by EUMETSAT.
Programme lifetime 2016 - 2037
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned