Sentinel-6 is a heir of a line of satellites placed in orbit since 1992 to observe sea level. It is the result of a collaboration between Europe and the United States. Sentinel-6 will be placed in orbit at an altitude of 1,336 meters, replacing Jason-3, the older generation. The satellite will make it possible in particular to monitor the consequences of global warming on sea level.
“We know that the sea level will continue to rise during the next century”, explains Alain Rattier, Director General of the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (Eumetsat).
“What is very important is to be able to look at the developments to see if certain disruptive scenarios of climate change that are underway, in the Arctic in particular, will materialize.”Alain Rattier, Managing Director of Eumetsat
According to the specialist, “what is needed is to cross-check this data with others to understand what is happening : what part is linked to the thermal expansion of the ocean, to glaciers, to polar ice caps in the Arctic. “
Technically, Sentinel-6 is a step forward. It has a digital radar. The radiometer, which measures electromagnetic waves, makes it possible to be as close as possible to the coast to provide data to inhabitants of areas at risk of submersion. This is the other added value of the Sentinel program: it provides information in an open environment. “All the data that is taken by all Sentinel satellites is made available to everyone, says Pierrick Wuillemier, program manager. The real value of Sentinel-6 data is that it allows small businesses or other service providers to develop added value to, in turn, develop services that can be sold or provided to others. actors, in particular all those related to the sea. “
But Sentinel-6 publishes raw data, not images. Some are usable in three hours of time, others require several months.