Sentinel-1 is a constellation of two satellites, 1A (launched in 2014) and 1B (launched in 2016).  Together they monitor all tectonically and volcanically active areas of the planet, with their data made freely available to the whole Earth observation community. 

The satellites have already provided valuable scientific results – helping us map earthquakes in Napa, California (2014) (see video below), Kaikoura, New Zealand (2016) and Amatrice, Italy (2016).

We are building an automatic processing system to handle the vast quantities of radar data from Sentinel-1. We will use the many thousands of images that Sentinel-1 produces every year to map ground movements with extraordinary accuracy, detecting ground movements as small as 1mm/yr between two points separated by as much as 100 km.

Near volcanoes, such changes can suggest activity below the Earth’s surface.  The data will also help us understand more about the outer layer of the Earth.

Importantly, Sentinel-1 will help us to respond in near-real time to eruption and earthquakes across the globe, and provide information on our website as quickly as possible.

Here are some examples of how we have used Sentinel-1 so far: