Sentinel Convoy for Land Applications

31 October - 1 November 2011
Venue: ESA ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

A science gap analysis and mission concept workshop

sentinel land poster bg250.jpg


  • To identify the challenges and gaps in current Earth Observation capabilities to study land surface processes.
  • To develop mission and instrument concepts to address using these gaps, taking advantage of the possibility to fly in convoy with operational missions such as Sentinels.

This two day workshop at ESTEC is intended to build on our understanding of land surface processes to better identify the future needs and challenges for land surface sensing from space and to develop Convoy concepts which potentially afford better opportunities for future missions. The results of this workshop will form part of an ESA study into potential Sentinel convoy and constellation concepts for observing land surface processes from space.

Workshop Part I

Part I of the workshop has been designed to identify and discuss gaps in current Earth observation capabilities with respect to the study of land surface processes from space. Oral presentations and posters are solicited which discuss the current status of land surface sensing and future challenges in the areas identified by ESA SP-1304, The Changing Earth (PDF):

  • the water cycle
  • the carbon cycle
  • terrestrial ecosystems
  • biodiversity
  • land use and land use cover
  • human population dynamics

Workshop Part II

Part II of the workshop will provide opportunities to propose and develop ideas for future mission concepts which could address these gaps. The focus will be on how new instruments and missions could be used in synergy (convoy flying) with existing or firmly planned operational satellites such as the GMES Sentinel series, MetOp and Post-EPS, as is increasingly the case in highly ranked mission proposals.

Sentinel Convoy Land is an ESA Support To Science Element study led by SSTL and the University of Leicester.

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Report available

The full report on this workshop is now available as a 51-page PDF:


For queries about the symposium please contact Dr Neil Humpage