Universe

Ocean Watch with Sentinel-3 German-Russian Satellite

Polluters go undetected as of now no longer on high seas and fire Devils who want to turn forests into fields. Because starting today, satellite Sentinel-3 A.

On February 16 today, the Sentinel family is growing. Then a Russian Rockot Rocket launches at 18:57 (CET) on the Kosmodrome from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk in northwestern of Russia. At its top sits Sentinel-3, one of ultimately ten environmental satellites, which fully document everything that happens on the Earth and in the atmosphere. Sentinel-1 and -2 are already on different orbits. The third member of the group will observe the Earth from a 800 km-high orbit. He takes 27 days for an around world.

Even fishermen interested in satellite data

Each Sentinel satellite has special tasks, which is however partially overlap. The youngest of this family will observe above all the oceans and vegetation. In the course of climate change, including the surface temperature of the sea and large inland water changed. The “sea and land surface temperature radiometer” on board the satellite measures 0.3 ° c precision.

Sentinel 3A
Equipped with five instruments, the Earth observation satellite Sentinel-3A will capture in the future continuously sea level, land and sea-surface temperature as well as different chlorophyll and suspended solids content of the seas. The measurement results serve marine forecast services as well as the monitoring of the environment and obtaining climate data. Photo: ESA

“These data also fishermen are interested in”, believes Volker Liebig, who is responsible as the Director of the European Space Agency ESA Earth observation programmer. Fish are highly sensitive to changes in the sea temperature. You then move to other regions. Also for the weather these temperatures are also that the country faces important.

Sea levels are rising faster then we thought

Climate change is an additional device called “synthetic aperture radar altimeter” document, that sea-level rise regionally very different measures. On average, it is currently at three millimeters per year, said Liebig. A few years ago, there were 1.5 mm.

Another device captures the colors of water and land areas. Captains, who clean their oil tanks on the high seas and just flip the polluted water overboard, let to uncover as well illegal fire clearing and changes of the vegetation due to environmental influences, about drought or abundant rainfall.

Ground station in Darmstadt, Germany

Sentinel 1a is specially equipped for the acquisition of natural events. He documented floods, landslides and forest fires. Rescue teams can benefit from the images, which he delivers. The Earth orbiting height Sentinel-2 A since 2015 only 280 km. The images can be used in the areas of land use, soil sealing, spatial planning, forestry, coastal protection and humanitarian aid.

EuMetSat, the European Organization for the exploitation of meteorological satellites, based in Darmstadt, Germany operates the Sentinel family. First and foremost, the data are used for weather forecasts and the documentation of climate change.