BackForwardInstrument:  MSI (Sentinel-2A) 

Instrument details
Acronym MSI (Sentinel-2A)
Full name Multi-Spectral Imager for Sentinel-2
Purpose High-resolution land observation, vegetation, territory management and hazards mitigation
Short description 13 channel in VIS/NIR/SWIR [see detailed characteristics below]
Background New development
Scanning Technique Pushbroom, swath 290 km nominally close to nadir, pointable off-track for emergencies
Resolution IFOV: 10 to 60 m, depending on channel (see table)
Coverage / Cycle Global coverage in 10 days, in daylight.  More frequent possible for emergencies
Mass 275 kg Power 266 W Data Rate 450 Mbps

 

Providing Agency ESA
Instrument Maturity Backed by strong heritage
Utilization Period: 2015-09-23 to ≥2024
Last update: 2017-03-28
Detailed characteristics
Central wavelength Bandwidth SNR @ specified input spectral radiance IFOV at s.s.p.
443 nm 20 nm 129 @ 129.11 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 60 m
490 nm 65 nm 154 @ 128.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 10 m
560 nm 35 nm 168 @ 128.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 10 m
665 nm 30 nm 142 @ 108.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 10 m
705 nm 15 nm 117 @ 74.60 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 20 m
740 nm 15 nm 89 @ 68.23 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 20 m
783 nm 20 nm 105 @ 66.70 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 20 m
842 nm 115 nm 174 @ 103.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 10 m
865 nm 20 nm 72 @ 52.39 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 20 m
945 nm 20 nm 114 @ 8.77 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 60 m
1375 nm 20 nm 50 @ 6.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 60 m
1610 nm 90 nm 100 @ 4.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 and 504 @ 32.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 20 m
2190 nm 180 nm 100 @ 1.70 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 and 475 @ 11.00 W m-2 sr-1 µm-1 20 m
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive optical radiometer or spectrometer
  • High resolution optical imager
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Biomass
  • Fraction of Absorbed PAR (FAPAR)
  • Fraction of vegetated land
  • Land cover
  • Leaf Area Index (LAI)
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Biomass4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels. Biomass inferred from NDVI and LAI
Cloud cover5 - marginalInfrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Cloud optical depth4 - fairLow-density cloud only.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Earth surface albedo4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.VIS channels
Fraction of Absorbed PAR (FAPAR)3 - highCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.VIS channels including Red at 700 nm
Fraction of vegetated land2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Glacier cover2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Long time for mapping.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels, screening ice from clouds
Land cover3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Leaf Area Index (LAI)2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.. Infrequent coverage.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.VIS and NIR channels
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.VIS channels, range undersampled
Sea-ice cover4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR (for contour enhancement) and SWIR (for discrimination from clouds) channels
Short-wave cloud reflectance5 - marginalInfrequent coverage.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels. Unsuitable dynamic range (saturation)
Snow cover2 - very highCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels, enabling screening snow from clouds
Soil moisture at surface5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Index only.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels. Soil moisture inferred from differential brightness
Soil type4 - fairCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Upward short-wave irradiance at TOA5 - marginalSpectral interpolation needed.. Information on BRDF needed.. Infrequent coverage.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Vegetation type3 - highCloud sensitive.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Aerosol volcanic ash5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels
Aerosol volcanic ash (Total column)5 - marginalCloud sensitive.. Infrequent coverage.. Daylight only.VIS, NIR and SWIR channels