Alaska Satellite Facility
Delivering Remote Sensing Data Since 1991

This time-lapse video shows Sentinel-1A being prepared for launch and its liftoff on 3 April 2014 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. Credit: ESA - S. Corvaja,  M. Pedoussaut, 2014.

Sentinel-1B launches on 25 April 2016 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. © ESA/CNES/Arianespace.
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Facts and Figures: Sentinel-1

  • Sentinel-1B: Soyuz rocket, launched 25 April 2016, from Kourou, French Guiana
  • Sentinel-1A: Soyuz rocket, launched 3 April 2014, from Kourou, French Guiana
Orbit: Polar, Sun-synchronous at an altitude of 693 km

Revisit time: Six days with two-satellite constellation of Sentinel-1A and 1-B. Before 1-B launched, revisit time for Sentinel-1A alone was 12 days.

Instrument: C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) at 5.405 GHz

Operational Modes
  • Interferometric wide-swath (IW) at 250 km and 5×20 m resolution, using TOPSAR
  • Wave (WV) images of 20×20 km and 5×5 m resolution (at 100 km intervals) 
  • Stripmap (SM) at 80 km swath and 5×5 m resolution 
  • Extra wide swath (EW) of 400 km and 20×40 m resolution, using TOPSAR
  • Supports operation in single polarization (HH or VV) and dual polarization (HH+HV or VV+VH)
  • Polarization implemented through one transmit chain (switchable to H or V) and two parallel receive chains for H and V polarization
  • SM, IW and EW are available in single (HH or VV) or dual polarization (HH+HV or VV+VH)
  • WV is single polarization only (HH or VV)

Receiving stations: SAR data: Svalbard, Norway; Matera, Italy; Maspalomas, Spain; and via laser link through EDRS

Telemetry, tracking and command: via Kiruna, Sweden

Main applications: Monitoring sea ice, oil spills, marine winds and waves, land-use change, land deformation, and to respond to emergencies such as floods and earthquakes

Mission: Developed, operated, and managed by various ESA establishments

Life: Minimum of seven years

Satellites: 2.8 m long, 2.5 m wide, 4 m high with 2×10 m-long solar arrays and a 12 m-long radar antenna

Mass: 2300 kg (including 130 kg fuel)

Funding: ESA Member States and the European Union Prime contractors: Thales Alenia Space, Italy for the satellite; Airbus Defence and Space, Germany for the SAR instrument

Content on ASF's Sentinel web pages is adapted from the European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel website.

Get SAR Data

Get SAR Data

Select and download SAR data online using Vertex.

Use the ASF API for downloading SAR data via a command line.