The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed specifically to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission’s Copernicus programme.
Sentinel-2 carries an innovative wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of our land and vegetation. The combination of high resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a swath width of 290 km and frequent revisit times provides unprecedented views of Earth.
The mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites in the same orbit, 180° apart for optimal coverage and data delivery. Together they cover all Earth’s land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters every five days at the equator. Sentinel-2A was launched on 23 June 2015.
As well as monitoring plant growth, Sentinel-2 can be used to map changes in land cover and to monitor the world’s forests. It also provides information on pollution in lakes and coastal waters. Images of floods, volcanic eruptions and landslides contribute to disaster mapping and help humanitarian relief efforts.

Instrument: MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI)

- push broom concept
- 13 spectral bands from VNIR to SWIRD
- includes 3 bands in the 'red edge', which provide key information on vegetation state
- 290km-swath
- 2 large visible near-infrared and shortwave infrared focal planes, each equipped with 12 detectors

Sun synchronous
100 minutes
providing information for agricultural and forestry practices and for helping manage food security; determining various plant indices such as leaf area chlorophyll and water content indexes; observation data for the next generation of operational products, such as land-cover maps, land-change detection maps and geophysical variables