© ESA Electronics Production | November 14, 2017
Earth Observation Satellite launched with Zeiss Optics
On 13 October 2017, at 10:27 CET, the new Sentinel-5P earth observation satellite of the European Space Agency ESA was launched into space in northern Russia. Sentinel-5P is one of the overall six satellites in the EU-sponsored Copernicus program.
The data of the new observation satellite, which measures the complete surface of our planet once a day, will be used primarily for environmental protection and air quality monitoring. Sentinel-5P will investigate the earth's atmosphere and measure, for example, the content of trace gases such as ozone or methane that influence the air and climate on the earth. The 820-kilogram satellite is equipped with the state-of-the-art measuring instrument Tropomi. Produced in the Netherlands for Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands and TNO, the instrument contains spectrometers featuring Zeiss optics. As every gas delivers typical measurement values at specific wavelengths, Tropomi can easily detect where what gases frequently occur. "Here in Jena we have developed and produced high-quality diffractive gratings for Tropomi and are delighted that optics from Zeiss are once again on board of an ESA mission," says Dr. Alexandre Gatto from the Microstructured Optics area of Zeiss. The Sentinel-5P satellite now launched is a forerunner model: it will bridge the transition between the previous satellite and the final Sentinel-5 satellite which will be launched in 2021. "P" stands for "precursor". Further satellites are to be launched as part of Copernicus project before 2030. The first satellite, the Sentinel 1A, was launched on 3 April 2014.