Sentinel-3A

Summary

Sentinel-3A
Sentinel-3 spacecraft model.svg
Vector drawing of the Sentinel-3
Mission typeEarth observation
OperatorESA · EUMETSAT
COSPAR ID2016-011A
SATCAT no.41335
WebsiteSentinel-3 (ESA)
Mission durationPlanned: 7 years[1]
Elapsed: 4 years, 8 months, 10 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSentinel-3
BusPrima
ManufacturerThales Alenia Space[2]
Launch mass1,250 kg (2,760 lb)[3]
Dry mass1,150 kg (2,540 lb)[4]
Dimensions3.9 × 2.2 × 2.2 m (12.8 × 7.2 × 7.2 ft)[3]
Power2,300 watts[3]
Start of mission
Launch date16 February 2016, 17:57 (2016-02-16UTC17:57) UTC[5]
RocketRokot
Launch sitePlesetsk Cosmodrome, Site 133
ContractorEurockot Launch Services
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeSun-synchronous
Semi-major axis7,182.47 km (4,462.98 mi)
Eccentricity0.000309
Perigee altitude802.12 km (498.41 mi)
Apogee altitude806.56 km (501.17 mi)
Inclination98.62°
Period100.97 min
RAAN117.18°
Argument of perigee86.80°
Mean motion14.26 rev/day
Repeat interval27 days[6]
Epoch17 February 2016, 18:53:04 UTC[7]
Transponders
BandS band (TT&C support)
X band (science data)
BandwidthS band: 64 kbps uplink, 1 Mbps downlink
X band: 2 × 280 Mbps[1]
 

Sentinel-3A is a European Space Agency Earth observation satellite dedicated to oceanography which launched on 16 February 2016.[5] It was built as a part of the Copernicus Programme, and is the first of four planned Sentinel-3 satellites. Its sister satellite, Sentinel-3B, launched on 25 April 2018.

Mission history

In October 2015, the Sentinel-3A launch was planned for December 2015,[8] but delays in transportation from Cannes to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome postponed the launch to January 2016.[9] The spacecraft arrived at Talagi Airport aboard an Antonov An-124 on 28 November.[10][11] By 17 December, Sentinel-3A completed pre-launch testing and was placed into storage for the Christmas break, lasting until 11 January 2016.[12] After the break, launch was scheduled for 4 February,[13] but while the spacecraft was being fuelled for launch, Khrunichev Space Center in Moscow determined that the launch pad needed to be recertified, resulting in a further delay.[14] Launch was eventually rescheduled for 16 February.[15]

Launch

Sentinel-3A was successfully launched on 16 February 2016 at 17:57 UTC from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome aboard a Rokot launch vehicle. The Briz-KM upper stage fired twice to insert the spacecraft into its intended 815 km (506 mi) orbit, first at 5 minutes and then at 75 minutes after launch. Spacecraft separation occurred at 79 minutes after launch, and ground controllers received the first communication from the vehicle at 92 minutes.[5][16]

Operations

The first instrument switched on was OLCI. It made its first picture on 29 February 2016, capturing Svalbard island along with a part of the arctic ice pack near solar terminator.[17]

References

  1. ^ a b "Sentinel-3 › Satellite Description". European Space Agency. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Sentinel-3A arrived at launch site" (Press release). Thales Alenia Space. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Copernicus: Sentinel-3". eoPortal. European Space Agency. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Satellite: Sentinel-3A". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Bergin, Chris; Graham, William (16 February 2016). "Russian Rokot launches Sentinel-3A". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Sentinel-3 › Mission Summary". European Space Agency. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Sentinel 3A - Orbit". Heavens Above. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Sentinel-3A shows off". European Space Agency. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Sentinel-3A taking final steps to launch". European Space Agency. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Safe at the launch site". European Space Agency. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Sentinel-3A Launch Campaign Commenced". Eurockot Launch Services. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Almost time to pack up for Christmas". European Space Agency. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Back to Plesetsk and brrrrr... it's cold". European Space Agency. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Satellite fuelling on hold". European Space Agency. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Sentinel-3A gets new launch date". European Space Agency. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Third Sentinel satellite launched for Copernicus". European Space Agency. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  17. ^ "Just two weeks after launch, the latest Sentinel satellite has offered a taster of what it will provide for the EU's Copernicus programme" (Press release). EUMETSAT. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.

External links

  • Sentinel-3 program website by ESA
  • Sentinel-3 website by the Copernicus Programme
  • Real-time orbital tracking - uphere.space