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Press release

New European satellite Sentinel-5p to be launched

11 October 2017 - On October 13, 2017, the European satellite Sentinel-5 Precursor (Sentinel-5p) will be launched from the Russian Cosmodrome of Plesetsk on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA).

After the successful launch of several Sentinel satellites for the monitoring of lands and oceans, Sentinel-5p has been developed by ESA and the Dutch Space Agency (NSO) as the first atmospheric monitoring satellite of the EU Copernicus Earth Observation programme.

The latter aims at the operational provision of advanced information services on our environment and security to public authorities, policy makers and the citizen. As part of this programme, Sentinel-5p having on-board the TROPOMI instrument will be the precursor of the future Sentinel-5 mission to be launched in 2022.

It will measure at the global scale and at the unprecedented horizontal resolution of 7x3.5 km2 (minimal ground pixel size), atmospheric composition data related to

  • air quality
  • ozone
  • climate change issues

The outstanding performances of the TROPOMI instrument will enable more detailed than ever detection of pollution emitters at city level, of small scale atmospheric effects on regional climate change, and of aviation hazards due to volcanic eruptions.

With support from the Belgian Federal Science Policy (BELSPO) and ESA, the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) plays a key role for the production, validation and analysis of the future Sentinel-5p data. The institute is responsible for the algorithms producing data on two important pollutants and precursors of climate change:

  • formaldehyde
  • sulphur dioxide

BIRA-IASB further strongly contributes to the algorithm deriving total ozone columns and is also in charge of the operational quality monitoring of all Sentinel-5p atmospheric data and thereby gives precious feedback to ESA and the Copernicus services on the health of the instrument.

Finally, atmospheric models will be used to analyse the implications of Sentinel-5p data in terms of pollutants emissions and atmospheric processes.

 

Contact:

 

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