The Matera Space Center of e-GEOS, an ASI/Telespazio company, supported the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) of the Sentinel-1A satellite and verified that the operation ensured the sound functioning of the platform and the radar platform and instrument on board the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth observation satellite Sentinel-1A, which was launched on April 3 at the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
In the early hours of the morning of Sunday April 6 (05:53 CET), the first on-board telemetry and navigation data in band-X was received.
The Matera Space Center is one of the Core Ground Segment’s three ground stations built under the leadership of the ESA for European environmental monitoring program Copernicus. Matera was chosen as the first station to be involved in the delicate LEOP phase and commissioning of the mission, which began immediately after the launch of Sentinel-1A.
Over the course of the routine phase of the program, the Matera Space Center will also acquire data from Sentinel 2-A and will carry out the processing of the results of both missions in Near Real Time.
“We got this result thanks to a great team effort: these last two days and nights in Matera, people from e-GEOS, ESA, and the industrial team that with the participation of Telespazio implemented the Ground Segment for Sentinel 1-A, have worked splendidly together”, said Mario Fonti, head of the Matera Space Centre of e-GEOS.
The data from the Sentinel missions, and in particular those gathered in Near Real Time, will be useful in many sectors and for activities such as the European Commission’s Copernicus Emergency Response service, for the provision of maps to Member States’ Civil Protection departments in case of natural disasters and for the EMSA’s CleanSeaNet maritime surveillance service.
Sentinel 1-A, built by Thales Alenia Space, is a radar satellite in polar orbit that will be capable of operating day and night in any atmospheric condition, and will also provide environmental monitoring of the land and sea.