Copernicus ECMWF scientists react to the launch of Sentinel-5P

Sentinel-5 Precursor - also known as Sentinel-5P - was launched today Friday 13 October at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission's Copernicus programme. 

It is the first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. It will map the entire planet every day. Information from this new mission will be used by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), that run at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, UK, for air quality forecasts and related decision-making.

“From now on, we will remember Friday the 13th as a good day but the launch of the satellite is only the beginning. It has been a long story already, with a dozen years in the planning, and now there are big steps ahead. The data from Sentinel-5P will find its way into our applications and then out to the general public. We have a lot of work in front of us,” says Vincent-Henri Peuch, head of CAMS, ECMWF.

“The observations we will get from this instrument are critical in our forecasting that we run at ECMWF. This instrument will provide information for our global forecast of atmospheric composition. It will ensure that we will have observations for years to come,” says Richard Engelen, deputy Head of CAMS, ECMWF.

“In the past we looked at the US as the source of space data. Today Europe is now a big player with all the national contributions. This is a European success and that is important not just for Europe but for the whole globe because the whole of Europe is supporting better information on air quality world-wide,” says Vincent-Henri Peuch, head of CAMS, ECMWF.



Silke Zollinger

Press and Events Manager

Copernicus Communication

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Shinfield Park, Reading, RG2 9AX, UK


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About Copernicus ECMWF

Copernicus is the European Commission’s flagship Earth observation programme. It delivers freely accessible operational data and information services which provide users with reliable and up-to-date information related to environmental and security issues.

C3S is run by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Commission. ECMWF also operates the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). 

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 states, established in 1975.
ECMWF’s core mission is to produce numerical weather forecasts, carry out scientific and technical research to improve forecast skill, and to maintain an archive of meteorological data.

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