Radar instrument delivered to Sentinel-1B satellite for Copernicus mission
FRANCE. The C-band radar instrument, built by Airbus Defence and Space, for the Copernicus Sentinel-1B satellite is en route to the spacecraft at Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in Italy, the prime contractor for the program. The satellite is scheduled to launch in 2016 to join Sentinel-1A after the integration and testing is complete.
The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is the heart of the Sentinel-1 mission. It has an active phased-array antenna measuring 12.3 m X 0.90 m including 560 C-band T/R modules. According to officials, the C-band radar beam can determine changes in the Earth’s surface.
European Commission (EC) and the European Space Agency (ESA) jointly lead the Copernicus program. The Sentinel-1 mission will provide a wide range of environmental tasks that include surveillance of maritime environment and monitoring of sea ice, oil spills, landslides, and floods. In response to natural disasters, it will assist in the reconnaissance and operational support activities. Airbus Defence and Space will operate the SpaceDataHighway system (EDRS) that will provide laser communication services for the Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites.