We show you how to access Earth observation data and provide background information about the comprehensive Copernicus programme.


Copernicus  is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date. It will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.
This initiative is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

ESA is developing a new family of satellites, called Sentinels, specifically for the operational needs of the Copernicus programme.

The Sentinels will provide a unique set of observations, starting with the all-weather, day and night radar images from Sentinel-1A and -1B, launched respectively in April 2014 and April 2016.  Sentinel-2A, launched on 23 June 2015, is designed to deliver high-resolution optical images for land services. The second satellite, Sentinel-2B, joined its twin in orbit on 7 March 2017. Sentinel-3A, launched on 16 February 2016, provides data for services relevant to the ocean and land. Sentinel-4 and -5 will provide data for atmospheric composition monitoring from geostationary and polar orbits, respectively. Sentinel-6 will carry a radar altimeter to measure global sea-surface height, primarily for operational oceanography and for climate studies. In addition, a Sentinel-5 Precursor mission is being developed to reduce data gaps between Envisat, in particular the Sciamachy instrument, and the launch of Sentinel-5. The Space Component is managed by ESA and serves users with satellite data available through the Sentinels and the Contributing Missions at national, European and international levels.

More information: Sentinel Online


Access to Sentinel Data

Users interested in data coming directly from the Copernicus space component (the Sentinels satellites) can access them through the Sentinel Online portal operated by the European Space Agency (A specific section is dedicated to “Data Access” on this portal).

EUMETSAT will provide access to the Sentinel-3 marine products – and, in future, products from Sentinel-4, -5 and -6 – via EUMETCast satellite/terrestrial or via Online Data Access or the Earth Observation Portal.


Access to Copernicus Services

Data are available through the web portals operated by the various Copernicus service lines:

(Data are not yet available online for Security applications, which are still in a development phase).

For the Land-, Atmosphere- and Marine-related services, anyone can have access to data but registration is mandatory. Registration is free-of-charge.

For the time being, there is no common registration facility. Users interested in data coming from several web portals must therefore register on each web portal.

For the Emergency Management service, data production can be triggered only by “authorized users” but the maps produced by the service are available on the service web portal and can be downloaded without registering.

Source: EC


Data Access for Mobile Developers (API)

For the Space App Camps, initiated by ESA and organised by AZO, a dedicated API framework for iOS and Android has been developed.

It enables developers to easily integrate maps in their Apps providing their users with compelling visualisations of Geo-information. A variety of charts are returned as PNG-image or Scalable Vector-Graphics (SVG) for client-based interaction. From time-series to snapshots from space, with the Ramani API maps become truly interactive, making smartphone Apps more engaging and fun!

Depending on their needs, users can obtain these data either from the Copernicus services or directly from the Copernicus satellites. No registration is required for discovery and view services while it is a prerequisite to download Sentinel data. Registration is free of charge.

In line with its data and information policy, the Copernicus programme provides users with free, full and open access to environmental data.