ESA Copernicus


Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date. It will provide 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.

Copernicus is the new name for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme, previously known as GMES.

Copernicus: Europe's eyes on Earth

This initiative is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

ESA coordinates the delivery of data from upwards of 30 satellites. The EC, acting on behalf of the European Union, is responsible for the overall initiative, setting requirements and managing the services.

ESA is developing a new family of satellites, called Sentinels, specifically for the operational needs of the Copernicus programme. At present, three complete two-satellite constellations are in orbit plus an additional single satellite, Sentinel-5P.

The Sentinels will provide a unique set of observations, starting with the all-weather, day and night radar images from Sentinel-1A and -1B, launched respectively in April 2014 and April 2016. 

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Latest Updates

September 6, 2019
Screenshot of SAR flood map from Hurricane Dorian on 9/2/19.
Powerful Category 5 Hurricane Dorian struck the northern parts of the Bahamas on Sunday, September 1. Dorian first pummeled the Abaco Islands before stalling and battering Grand Bahama Island more than 40 hours with heavy rain and catastrophic storm surge. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES East satellite provided rapid, highly detailed imaging so that forecasters would have critical information about the storm’s movement. In the evening hours of September 2, the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1A satellite also passed over the Bahamas, with a synthetic...
June 7, 2018
ARIA damage proxy map of Fuego volcano
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas around Fuego volcano, Guatemala, that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of pyroclastic flows and heavy ash spewed by Fuego volcano. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the...
November 13, 2017
ESA Sentinel-1 Imagery
Acquired Nov. 11. 2017 Acquired Nov, 11 2017 NASA color coded SAR based flood detection maps reveal extensive flooding in areas of Vietnam. The SAR data used in analysis are Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA. In the figures, the blue tones represent flooding due to Typhoon Damrey while the black color represents water covered areas before the typhoon. Other colors indicate mostly land...