Sentinel-1, the first Earth Observation mission in ESA’s Copernicus programme, is a constellation of two polar-orbiting, all-weather, day-and-night, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites which are used to monitor ice and oceans as well as changes on land. Sentinel-1A was launched in April 2014, and was joined in orbit by 1B in April 2016. Together, they monitor the entire planet, passing over the same spot on the ground every 6 days.
CPOM uses Sentinel-1 data to closely monitor the flow of ice out of many large outlet glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, to track the location of icebergs, and to measure the grounding line position – which is the boundary between ice shelves that floating on the ocean and the grounded ice sheet. Sentinel-1 data has already provided valuable scientific results, demonstrating for example how quickly Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier is flowing.
Greenland’s Zachariae Isstrom glacier and Thwaites glacier in Antarctica (illustrated below) are another two large ice streams which are continuously monitored through the CPOM ice velocity portal, where ice velocity data is made freely available to the scientific community.