Friday, April 18, 2008

Sentinel-2: A new contract worth EURO 195 million for Astrium

Astrium has been appointed by ESA to be the prime con-tractor to build Sentinel-2, the first optical satellite in the Sentinel series. The main industrial contract worth EURO 195 million was signed today, by Volker Liebig, ESA´s Director of Earth ob-servation, Evert Dudok, CEO Astrium Satellites and Uwe Minne, Astrium´s Director of Earth Observation and Science in Friedrichshafen (Germany).

“This satellite is an important element of GMES and will enable Europe to constantly observe environmental changes“, said Volker Liebig, the Director for Earth Observation of ESA.

"Astrium has an outstanding track record in developing and building Earth observation satel-lites, including ERS, Envisat, Metop, Champ and TerraSAR-X. We are proud to be selected by ESA to provide a technology which will help us to improve our environment and to keep our planet safe and healthy," said Evert Dudok, CEO of Astrium Satellites.

Sentinel-2 will provide a permanent record of comprehensive data to help inform the agricul-tural sector (utilisation, coverage), forestry industry (population, damage, forest fires), disas-ter control (management, early warning) and humanitarian relief programmes. Sentinel-2 will also be able to observe natural disasters such as floods, volcanic eruptions, subsidence and landslides.

In the Sentinel-2 mission programme, Astrium in Friedrichshafen is responsible for the satel-lite’s system design and platform, as well as for satellite integration and testing. Astrium Tou-louse will supply the multi-spectral imaging instrument (MSI), and Astrium Spain will be in charge of the satellite’s structure and will produce its thermal equipment and cable harness. The industrial core team also comprises Jena Optronik (Germany), Boostec (France), Sener and GMV (Spain).

Sentinel-2 is intended to image the Earth’s landmasses from its orbit for at least 7.25 years. In addition, its on-board resources will be designed so that the mission can be prolonged by an extra five years. From 2012 onwards, the 1.1-metric-ton satellite will circle the Earth in a sun-synchronous, polar orbit at an altitude of 786 kilometres, fully covering the planet’s landmasses in just ten days. Its multi-spectral instrument (MSI) will generate optical images in 13 spectral channels in the visible and short-wave infrared range down to a resolution of 10 metres with an image width of 290 kilometres.

In the future it is planned to extend the overall Sentinel-2 system by a second satellite, so that by operating the two satellites simultaneously, it will be possible to cover the planet’s landmass every five days.

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