Thales Alenia Space has been awarded an estimated $500 million contract to produce additional environmental monitoring and oceanographic satellites for the European Space Agency's Earth observation program.
The company will design, develop and test the Sentinel-3C and Sentinel-3D satellites under ESA’s Copernicus program headed by the European Commission, Thales Alenia Space said Feb. 9.
Jean Loic Galle, CEO of the Thales and Finmeccanica joint venture, said the company intends for the contract to contribute to the environmental protection strategy of Europe.
Set for launch in 2021, the satellites will be equipped with an optical instrument designed to examine the color of the oceans, a sea and land surface temperature radiometer, a microwave radiometer and a synthetic aperture radar altimeter.
The Sentinel-3 mission aims to study the properties of oceans and land such as their color and temperature.