Airbus Defence and Space


Airbus Defence and Space has been a key partner in the Copernicus programme since it kicked off in 1998 under the name GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security).

Copernicus comprises an ‘in-situ’ measurement component and a ‘services’ component addressing six specific topics: oceans, atmosphere, climate change, land, security and emergency management.

GEO-Information at Airbus Defence and Space is currently heavily involved in the on-going definition of Copernicus services for land management (GEOLAND series), for security (FP 7 SAGRES and LOBOS), and disaster management (emergency situations FP 7 SAFER and INCREO) with civil protection, as well as for climate change monitoring, with the precursor CHARMe service.

Airbus Defence and Space also plays a crucial role in constructing the Sentinel satellites and their instruments:

  • developing and building the radar instrument for Sentinel 1;
  • prime contractor for Sentinel 2: optical satellite and instrument designed for spectral mode observations;
  • designing and building the satellite and instrument for Sentinel 5 Precursor (5p);
  • designing and building the microwave radiometer (MWR) on board Sentinel 3;
  • prime contractor for developing and building the two spectrometers on Sentinel 4;
  • prime contractor for the Sentinel 5 imaging spectrometer.
  • prime contractor for Jason-CS/ Sentinel-6

The Sentinel satellites will benefit from the European relay satellite system, EDRS (European Data Relay Satellite), from Airbus Defence and Space in partnership with ESA, enabling immediate broadband quality data transfer to the ground.

Airbus Defence and Space’s optical and radar satellites SPOT, PLEIADES, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X will supply additional data to fully exploit that collected by the Sentinels.

Finally, GEO-Information will run the data processing and archiving centres for Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 and will operate the CDS (Coordinated Data Access System) for the Copernicus programme.

CopernicusSentinel satellites Airbus Defence and SpaceGeo-information