The Sentinel-3 Scientific Validation Team (S3VT)
Donlon, Craig1; Goryl, Philippe2; Femenias, Pierre2; Bonekamp, Hans3; O'Carroll, Anne3; Mecklenburg, Susanne2; Kwiatkowska, Ewa3

The Sentinel-3 mission is an operational mission in high-inclination, low earth orbit developed to Serve the needs of GMES. The complete mission objectives are achieved with two satellites (Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B) flying in tandem in orbit separated by 180deg. Sentinel-3 carries three core instruments, plus supporting instruments for the topography payload:

  • The Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) providing ocean colour and land reflectance measurements,
  • The Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) providing surface temperature measurements,
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimeter (SRAL), supported by the Microwave radiometer (MWR) and POD package (GNSS, DORIS, LRR) together providing surface topography measurements.

    Sentinel-3 also introduces new aspects (in comparison with previous missions):

  • Along-track SAR Altimetry over ocean and coastal surfaces, in-land water and sea-ice,
  • Active fire monitoring capability,
  • Vegetation products extraction by exploitation of the synergy between the optical instruments.

    Sentinel-3 will serve GMES Services in the Ocean, Land, Ice and other domains with high-quality scientific measurements derived from the mission payload. These are complex products and require independent scientific validation to confirm their accuracy.

    Following the heritage of other Earth Observation Missions, a Sentinel-3 Scientific Validation Team (S3VT) has been convened in which ESA and EUMETSAT (the Agencies) seek the involvement of the international community with experience in conducting scientific verification and validation of Sentinel-3 type data, field experiments and campaigns. The aim of the S3VT is:

    ''To engage world-class expertise and activities, through mutual benefit collaboration, that support the implementation of the Sentinel-3 validation activities and ensure the best possible outcomes for the Sentinel-3 Mission''

    Given the multi-instrument payload and wide breadth of products provided by the Sentinel-3 Mission, the S3VT includes four sub-groups:

  • Altimetry;
  • Ocean Colour;
  • Sea and Sea Ice Surface Temperatures;
  • Land parameters (including representatives form other sub-groups to cover relevant visible, thermal and altimeter products and synergy products).

    80 proposals had been received with proposals in all major domains including a wide international contribution. A first S3VT Workshop is planned 26-29th November 2013 at ESA/ESRIN to coordinate the S3VT, sub-group breakout sessions, a poster session and a plenary review. This presentation reviews the status and planned activities of the Sentinel-3 Validation Team.