This also might be of interest here, as it is an important data source:

When does Sentinel-2A finally become operational and deliver images regularly?

I tried to find information on that, but somehow I did not find any date mentioned. Is it still unclear?

2 Answers 2


Update: 11/30/2015 -- Open data access is 'imminent.' Expect to see it in the next two weeks.

I think they haven't released a date because they are not sure when everything will be calibrated and operationally ready. Though they are releasing sample/PR images on a regular basis, it seems from recent mission reports that everything is not quite in place yet for regular user access. The data page for the mission also reflects this ("sample data only for learning how to use the system when it becomes operational").

Looks like the last major commissioning meeting is taking place in the next few days... So SOON!

It sounds like they are close to finished though. You can read here: https://sentinel.esa.int/documents/247904/1943503/Sentinel-2_Mission_Status_Report_9-Period_15-26_Sept_2015


Update : The distribution of pre-operational Sentinel-2A products has begun on the 3rd of December 2015. Data are available on https://scihub.esa.int . The data are named as "pre-operational", the main difference with the operational products being that they are produced without ground control points. However, even without ground control points, location error is below 10m.

The Sentinel-2 In-Orbit Commissionning Review (IOCR) was succesfully held at ESA on the 15th of October. According to the schedule regularly updated on Sentinel-2 Web site, the distribution should have begun on the second week of November 2015.

IOCR + tbc 2-3 weeks :

  • Implementation of IOCR Board recommendations
  • Release of Level-1 pre-qualified products
  • Start of gradual data provision of pre-qualified Level 1 to all users

The plans are to observe Europe and Africa are systematically every 10 days. The system capacity will be regularly increased to extend this to all lands. All the land masses defined in the Mission Requirement Document should be already observed once every 30 days, according to the last week of october mission status report.

However, a glitch on a subsystem occurred and the plans should be delayed a bit, as said in the first week of November Status Report. For more news, see also this page.

  • Thanks a lot, @O. Hagolle for your detailed answer! You said that Europe and Africa are currently observed every 10 days. By "currently" do you mean from now (04/11/2015) on or have they already been observed during already longer? I couldn't find that in the table. If so, will these data also be available in the DataHub later on?
    – countryman
    Nov 5, 2015 at 14:30
  • I do not have all the details. I think Sentinel-2 systematic acquisition in Europe began in August, and in Africa in October or end of September. However, Sentinel-2A being a young satellite, acquisitions are sometimes stopped to allow for calibration, tests, tuning or because of some glitches, as mentioned in the status report.
    – O. Hagolle
    Nov 6, 2015 at 11:08

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