Sentinel-3 scans Earth’s colour

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ESA/ATG medialab


Sentinel-3’s Ocean and Land Colour Instrument  (OLCI) is based on heritage from Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and features 21 distinct bands in the 0.4–1.02 ìm spectral region (or 400–1020 nm) tuned to specific ocean colour, vegetation and atmospheric correction measurement requirements. It has a spatial resolution of 300 m for all measurements and a swath width of 1270 km, overlapping the SLSTR swath. OLCI’s new eyes on Earth allow ocean ecosystems to be monitored, support crop management and agriculture and provide estimates of atmospheric aerosol and clouds – all of which bring significant societal benefits through more informed decision-making.

The animation illustrates the instrument’s push-broom scanning principle. The colours represent the different spectral bands, which are acquired by five cameras covering the instrument’s broad swath. Each camera measures a portion of the swath at a nadir spatial resolution of 300 m.

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