Astrium UK is prime contractor for the European Space Agency’s high-performance Sentinel 5 Precursor satellite (S5p), a low-cost mission to monitor atmospheric chemistry.
S5p is part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme (GMES), a joint undertaking of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA). GMES aims to supply geo-information products and services based on the use of images from space that will help European institutions and public authorities to fulfil their mission of safeguarding the civil population, managing risks, and protecting the environment.
S5p will carry the TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) instrument, developed by Astrium’s subsidiary Dutch Space. TROPOMI will take measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants at a higher resolution than existing instruments. Having more accurate atmospheric data will enable improved climate models and weather forecasting.
With launch scheduled for early 2015 and a seven-year lifetime, S5p will maintain the continuity of science data before the Sentinel-5 instrument becomes operational towards the end of this decade. The Sentinel 5 instrument is scheduled to fly on the MetOp Second Generation satellites.