Sentinel 1 for Science Use
Davidson, Malcolm1; Engdahl, Marcus2; Seifert, Frank-Martin2; Bally, Philippe2
1ESA, NETHERLANDS; 2ESA, ITALY

Sentinel-1 is a C-band imaging radar mission developed by ESA to provide an all-weather day-and-night supply of imagery for GMES user services. The main drivers in the mission design and realisation are the frequent revisit time, large geographical coverage, dual-polarisation instrument modes, interferometric capability and rapid data dissemination which represent the key to providing an essential and continuous data stream for GMES. The Sentinel-1 pair is expected to provide coverage over Europe, Canada and main shipping routes in 13 days, regardless of weather conditions. As well as serving the operational service community, the Sentinel-1 mission represents an unique opportunity to develop and assess new science applications and products enabled by the capabilities of the mission and access to its data. The frequent revisit and dual-polarisation capabilities of Sentinel-1, for instance, are expected to improve significantly science applications that depend on land cover mapping and change detection including, for example, agricultural monitoring and mapping forest extent, density and condition. The mapping of surface soil moisture at high resolution represents another promising science applications, but still requiring research and development. Over open water and oceans a number of new applications could benefit from the Sentinel-1 mission. For instance the sensing and mapping of surface currents, wind fields and ocean swells represent applications with great potential for Sentinel-1 but requiring additional focused R & D to achieve its goals. The scientific use of Sentinel-1 and associated R & D efforts is expected to directly contribute to parallel ESA initiatives in several application areas including - as examples - climate change (e.g. the Climate Change Initiative projects) and monitoring of deforestation (e.g. REDD). The presentation will outline the capabilities of the Sentinel-1 mission and link these to key areas of science use of the mission.