With two Copernicus satellites in orbit, the Sentinel-3 mission is now delivering data at full capacity

Since its launch in 2018, Sentinel-3B has been busy complementing Sentinel-3A by continuously delivering products to users. The constellation officially began routine operations on 20th of March 2019 when marine product services from Sentinel-3B became fully operation and data from the Ocean & Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) on board were made publicly available to users. Both satellites orbit around the Earth every day at different times and locations in order to record the maximum amount of data possible and provide optimal coverage.


Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellites: Sentinel-3A and –3B are a part of the European Union’s Earth Observation Copernicus Programme. Sentinel-3A, launched in early 2016, has been making accurate observations of sea surface temperature, ocean colour and sea surface topography for more than three years. The launch of Sentinel-3B completed the full mission constellation for the Sentinel-3 programme and the two satellites now operate in parallel to provide optimum global coverage, delivering high-quality data that has exceeded expectations. Carrying a suite of cutting-edge instruments, Sentinel-3 systematically measure Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. It provides essential information in near-real time for ocean and weather forecasting.

The data provided by the Sentinel-3 satellites are extremely important for public authorities, international organisations and other service providers for improving the quality of life for European citizens. Data helps to provide timely warnings and accurate forecasts, measurements such as water quality, algal bloom activity and important information on the state of ocean and marine ecosystems.


The two satellites are operated from EUMETSAT’s Mission Control Centre, which is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Sentinel-3 spacecraft and the dissemination of its marine data to users, with near real-time products delivered in less than three hours from the Sentinel-3 Marine Centre.

EUMETSAT provides data to the different Copernicus Services and users worldwide via EUMETCast (a multi-service dissemination system) and the Copernicus Online Data Access system (CODA).

Find more about Sentinel-3 mission here.

Copernicus is the World’s largest and most ambitious Earth observation programme. It provides accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. Since 2017, the Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) is a member and Latvia’s representative of Copernicus Relay and Academy networks. IES explains possibilities offered by the Copernicus program for national, business and public needs, organise training and information activities. Since 2015 IES in cooperation with European Space Agency is using Copernicus satellite data for assessment of different environmental and natural resources.

Find more about IES work in Copernicus network here.

Find more about IES cooperation with European Space Agency here.