ESA image: Sentinel's view of the West Coast of the Netherlands

Apr 25, 2014
Radar image of the Netherlands. Credit: ESA

This image over the West Coast of the Netherlands is one of the early radar scans by the Sentinel-1A satellite, which was launched on 3 April.

The 's advanced can provide imagery under all and regardless of whether it is day or night. It can scan Earth's surface in a range of different modes, enabling it to monitor large areas in lower resolution or to zoom in on a smaller region for a sharper view.

One of the many application areas of the data will be the surveillance of the marine environment, including monitoring oil spills and detecting ships for maritime security, as well as measuring wave height.

In this image, we can clearly see from the ships at sea, appearing like stars in a night sky. The two collections of 'stars' are reflections from large-scale offshore wind farms, used to generate electricity.

Other visible features include the city of Amsterdam on the centre-right side of the image, and the runways of the nearby Schiphol airport. In the lower part of the image we can see the city of Rotterdam, with Europe's largest port extending to the left.

Sentinel-1's radar will also be used for monitoring changes in agricultural land cover – important information for areas with intensive agriculture like the Netherlands.

This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was acquired on 15 April with the radar operating in 'stripmap mode', which provides coverage at a resolution of about 10 m.

Sentinel-1A is the first in a fleet of satellites being developed for Europe's Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. The satellite is not yet in its operational orbit, but early images like this have given us a taste of what's to come.

Explore further: Prepping for radar vision

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Prepping for radar vision

Mar 19, 2014

Sentinel-1A, Europe's first satellite for Copernicus, is almost ready for launch on 3 April. Meanwhile, ESA is showing how its advanced radar will map ice, monitor subsidence and much more.

Video: Sentinel-1A radar deployment

Jan 28, 2014

Testing the deployment of the Sentinel-1A radar antenna (in fast motion) in the cleanroom at Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France. As the satellite is designed to operate in orbit, it is hung from a structure during tests ...

First radar vision for Copernicus

Apr 17, 2014

Launched on 3 April, ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has already delivered its first radar images of Earth. They offer a tantalising glimpse of the kind of operational imagery that this new mission will provide ...

Video: Sentinel-1 separation in space

Apr 07, 2014

This superb footage was acquired by cameras on the Soyuz Fregat upper stage that released Sentinel-1 into orbit on 3 April 2014. It shows the Sentinel-1 satellite separating from the Fregat to start its life in orbit around ...

ESA successfully launches new monitoring satellite

Apr 04, 2014

Europe on Thursday launched the first in a constellation of hi-tech satellites designed to monitor Earth for climate change and environmental damage and help disaster relief operations.

Sentinel-1 fuelled and ready

Mar 27, 2014

ESA's first satellite dedicated to Europe's environmental monitoring Copernicus programme has been fuelled and pressurised, ready for its launch on 3 April.

Recommended for you

NASA sees remnants of Nilofar go to cyclone graveyard

5 hours ago

Wind shear has caused the demise of former Tropical Cyclone Nilofar in the northern Arabian Sea. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Nilofar on Oct. 31 and captured an image that shows strong wind shear has ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.