Remote Sensing (2020-08-01)

Benefits and Lessons Learned from the Sentinel-3 Tandem Phase

  • Sébastien Clerc,
  • Craig Donlon,
  • Franck Borde,
  • Nicolas Lamquin,
  • Samuel E. Hunt,
  • Dave Smith,
  • Malcolm McMillan,
  • Jonathan Mittaz,
  • Emma Woolliams,
  • Matthew Hammond,
  • Christopher Banks,
  • Thomas Moreau,
  • Bruno Picard,
  • Matthias Raynal,
  • Pierre Rieu,
  • Adrien Guérou

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 2668
p. 2668


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During its commissioning phase, the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite has been placed in a tandem formation with Sentinel-3A for a period of 6 months. This configuration allowed a direct comparison of measurements obtained by the two satellites. The purpose of this paper was to present the range of analyses that can be performed from this dataset, highlighting methodology aspects and the main outcomes for each instrument. We examined, in turn, the benefit of the tandem in understanding instrument operational modes differences, in assessing inter-satellite differences, and in validating measurement uncertainties. The results highlighted the very good consistency of the Sentinel-3A and B instruments, ensuring the complete inter-operability of the constellation. Tandem comparisons also pave the way for further improvements through harmonization of the sensors (OLCI), correction of internal stray-light sources (SLSTR), or high-frequency processing of SRAL SARM data. This paper provided a comprehensive overview of the main results obtained, as well as insights into some of the results. Finally, we drew the main lessons learned from the Sentinel-3 tandem phase and provided recommendations for future missions.