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Mission ends for Copernicus Sentinel-1B satellite

on 09 August 2022

On 23 December 2021, Copernicus Sentinel-1B experienced an anomaly related to the instrument electronics power supply provided by the satellite platform, leaving it unable to deliver radar data. Since then spacecraft operators and engineers have been working tirelessly to rectify the issue.

Unfortunately, despite all concerted efforts, ESA and the European Commission announce that it is the end of the mission for Sentinel-1B. Copernicus Sentinel-1A remains fully operational and plans are in force to launch Sentinel-1C as soon as possible.

In April 2014, Sentinel-1A was the first satellite to be launched for Copernicus, the Earth observation component of the European Union’s space programme. 

After the Sentinel-1B launch in April 2016, with the mission comprising two identical satellites orbiting 180° apart, the mission was able to image the planet with a maximum repeat frequency of six days, down to daily coverage at high latitudes.

Carrying advanced radar technology to provide an all-weather, day-and-night supply of imagery of Earth’s surface, the ambitious Sentinel-1 mission raised the bar for spaceborne radar.

The mission benefits numerous Copernicus services and applications, such as those that relate to Arctic sea-ice monitoring, iceberg tracking, routine sea-ice mapping, glacier-velocity monitoring, surveillance of the marine environment including oil-spill monitoring and ship detection for maritime security as well as illegal fisheries monitoring. It is also used for monitoring ground deformation resulting from subsidence, earthquakes and volcanoes, mapping for forest, water and soil management, and mapping to support humanitarian aid and crisis situations.

More details here.

Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab