"We know what the Earth breathes"

"As a space company we contribute to better detecting and understanding the impacts on the climate we are facing here in Europe. COPERNICUS is the biggest environmental mission ever in this segment and we are part of it!

The role of Sentinel-4 is monitoring the atmosphere, meaning the satellite records greenhouse gases, air quality, ozone, polluting particulates matter and solar radiation from a geostationary orbit. The data collected, which will be freely available to everybody, will be used specifically to generate environmental models to help define and implement the necessary environmental measures and allow   the relevant national authorities to provide the European citizens with almost instantaneous warnings in  case of excessive pollution.

The spatial resolution of the entire optical system is eight km from 36,000 km altitude. The spectrometers operate in the ultraviolet (305-500nm) and near-infrared (750-775nm) range so they can supply valuable information about the condition of our atmosphere.

We supply so-called optoelectronic components for the satellite for this mission: two spectrometers, a telescope and two focal plane assemblies.

In doing so, we are technologically advancing into topics that were previously difficult to imagine. The required and necessary accuracies, which were in the µm range, were particularly challenging.

The instrument is passively athermalised, a procedure patented by Jena-Optronik. In principle, this is an auto focus mechanism, which one knows from cameras. Due to our special lens-lever-frame the picture respectively the optical characteristics are stabilized against temperature in a completely passive way. To do so we neither need an electronic or power source nor a driving mechanism. The stabilization is achieved by the change in temperature itself.

We would like to thank the European Space Agency ESA and Airbus Defence and Space for entrusting us with this project. The dedicated teams of our clients and partners were a key factor in the success of our work. The objective of the mission was another motivating factor for our #teamspace at Jena-Optronik. With a strong investigative spirit, we have succeeded in discovering new technological horizons and delivering innovative satellite components. I would like to thank all employees involved in the project!” 



Eyk Gebhardt, Sentinel-4 Project Lead at Jena-Optronik

Pictures © Florian Brill on behalf of Jena-Optronik GmbH - We want to thank all members of our #teampsace for their contribution to our projects. The pictures hhow only three of them.


This article was carried out under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency.
The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

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