February 24, 2020


The Sentinel-6 mission will be developed and implemented through a partnership between the EU, ESA, Eumetsat, with the support of CNES, and the United States (NOAA/NASA) to secure the continuity until 2030+ of critical high precision observations of ocean surface topography beyond Jason-3.

Mission Partnership Responsibilities:

  • ESA
    • Responsible for the development of the first satellite,
    • LEOP,
    • In-Orbit Verification (IOV) and
    • Level 1b ground processor prototypes
    • Supply of the recurrent satellite on behalf of Eumetsat and the EU.

  • CNES
    • Responsible for supplying mission expertise and
    • Precise orbit determination.

  • Eumetsat
    • Responsible for system and mission management,
    • Ground segment development,
    • Flight operations in partnership with NOAA,
    • Participation in funding for first and second satellites (different levels).
    • Delivery of data services to Copernicus Service Providers and users on behalf of the EU.

  • European Union
    • Responsible for funding the operations and
    • Participation in funding for the second satellite.

  • NOAA
    • Responsible for US ground stations and
    • Operational data processing (TBC).

  • NASA
    • Responsible for developing and supplying all US payload instruments
    • For supplying the launcher and
    • For organizing the US science team.

High-level management of the project is provided by the "Joint Steering Group" (JSG), made up of representatives from the partners.

  • Role of the OSTST

To conclude, an international group of scientists, the "Ocean Surface Topography Science Team" (OSTST), provides an independent assessment of scientific objectives and advances and contributes to wider distribution of advances achieved in an international context. A European Mission Advisory Group (MAG) will be set up by ESA and EUMETSAT to support the development and implementation of the Sentinel-6 mission.