Airbus Defence and Space has signed a contract, worth a €285 million euros with the European Space Agency (ESA) to deliver two further optical satellites for the European Copernicus programme: Sentinels-2C and -2D.
The spacecraft will be orbited in 2021 by an, as yet, undetermined launch vehicle. Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen (Germany) is responsible for the system design, the platform and satellite integration and testing. Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse (France) is delivering the Multispectral Instrument (MSI), while Airbus Defence and Space in Madrid (Spain) is responsible for the mechanical satellite structure for producing the thermal equipment and cable loom, and for the delivery of power, energy management and high speed data acquisition units.
The Sentinel-2 satellites deliver optical images from a height of 786 km with a resolution of 10, 20 and 60 metres at an image width of 290 km. These images are produced in 13 spectral bands, from the visible to the short-wave infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. As part of Copernicus, the Sentinel-2 satellites make a significant contribution to meeting Earth observation data requirements in the areas of land use, water quality, agriculture and forestry, land management, natural disasters (floods, forest fires, landslides, erosion) and humanitarian aid. Environmental observation in coastal areas likewise forms part of these activities, as does glacier, ice and snow monitoring. Images will be relayed back to Earth via the European Data Relay System (EDRS).