France: Airbus Defence and Space has delivered the environmental monitoring satellite Sentinel-2A for testing. The satellite will undergo a series of environmental tests at IABG, near Munich, Germany in the coming months to find out its suitability for use in space.
Weighing around 1.2 tons, it is one of the European “Copernicus” program satellites of the European Space Agency scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2015. Copernicus is a joint undertaking of the European Commission and ESA.
Sentinel-2A is scheduled to launch in 2015; Sentinel-2B, which is identical in design, is set to follow in 2016. The two satellites together will be able to capture images of earth's total land surface in just five days in a systematic manner.
The Sentinel-2 satellites will render optical images from the visible-near infrared to short-wave infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum using a total of 13 spectral bands with a resolution of 10, 20 or 60 meters and a swath width of 290 km. It will be employed mainly in the areas of soil sealing, land use, forest monitoring, land management, natural disasters (forest fires, floods, erosion, landslides) and humanitarian aid.
Source: Airbus Defence and Space