How to Download Free Sentinel Satellite Data

How To Download Sentinel Satellite Data

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2017

Download Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Satellite Data

If you want to download Sentinel satellite data, then you’ve come to the right place.

One of the most exciting developments in remote sensing at this time is the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Programme.

Copernicus’ six Sentinel satellites collects comprehensive pictures of our land, ocean, emergency response, atmosphere, security and climate change to understand the health of our planet.

Until very recently, this data has become available to the public at no cost

Today, we show you step-by-step how to download Sentinel satellite data:

Sentinels Scientific Data Hub

Product Catalog Sentinel

In 2014-15, Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2A were successfully launched from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

One Sentinel scene after the other, data has been rolling out on a user interface called the Sentinels Scientific Data Hub.

It’s now available for the public to access.

But you will have to hop through a couple of hoops before you can get your fingers on it.

Follow these steps to download free Sentinel satellite data:

Step 1: Create a User Account

Go to Sentinels Scientific Data Hub.

In the top-right of the webmap, click the  SIGN UP  button.

Insert valid entries for your name, email and location. Click register. Validate your email.

With a few clicks of the mouse, you’ve gain access to ESA’s Sentinel data.

Sign Up Sentinel

Step 2: Select Your Area of Interest

Where is your study area?

Using the  SEARCH CRITERIA  text box in the top-left, type in your area of interest.

In our example, we’ve typed Germany. Click Enter twice.

From here your search will yield results for all the Sentinel satellite data available.

Sentinel-1 (Synthetic Aperture Radar C-Band) swaths are depicted in red. Sentinel-2 (multispectral data) swaths are depicted in green.

READ MORE: What’s the difference between active and passive sensors?

Search Criteria Sentinel

Step 3: Download Sentinel Data

Now, that we have our user account created with our study area defined – all we have to do is sift through the results and download our chosen Sentinel data.

As we are working with large data sets, you will have to be patient with download speeds. It’s easy for the server to timeout during the download.

Select the product you want to download. S1A is Sentinel-1A. S2A is Sentinel-2A.

Product Download Sentinel

Below the product thumbnail that has the download URL. This is what you want to clip in order to download your chosen Sentinel data.

What’s Next?




After you download Sentinel satellite data, chances are that you are going to want to display it in the visible spectrum. This is exactly how our eyes see objects around us.

Each image is separated by their respective spectral band. See our table below for the spectral bands of Sentinel 2. Sentinel 2B will be identical to Sentinel 2A.

If you want to combine the red, green and blue channels as composite bands (such as Google Earth imagery) – read our composite bands tutorial.

…Or maybe you’d like to perform an NDVI analysis in ArcGIS or an image classification.

You now have free satellite data from Sentinel to help you.

What are the Spectral Bands of Sentinel 2A and 2B?

We’ve listed below, the spectral and spatial resolution of Sentinel 2A. There are 13 bands in total. Four spectral bands have a 10 meter resolution. Six bands have a 20 meter resolution. And the remaining 3 have a spatial resolution of 60 meters.

Here are the spectral band details for Sentinel 2A:

Band Resolution Central Wavelength Description
B1 60 m 443 nm Ultra blue (Coastal and Aerosol)
B2 10 m 490 nm Blue
B3 10 m 560 nm Green
B4 10 m 665 nm Red
B5 20 m 705 nm Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR)
B6 20 m 740 nm Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR)
B7 20 m 783 nm Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR)
B8 10 m 842 nm Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR)
B8a 20 m 865 nm Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR)
B9 60 m 940 nm Short Wave Infrared (SWIR)
B10 60 m 1375 nm Short Wave Infrared (SWIR)
B11 20 m 1610 nm Short Wave Infrared (SWIR)
B12 20 m 2190 nm Short Wave Infrared (SWIR)

Source: SENTINEL-2 Spatial Resolution

Each single satellite revisit time is 10 days. Because there are two satellites (Sentinel 2A and 2B), this means it has a combined constellation revisit of 5 days.

10 Comments

  1. Please note that the Copernicus Programme belongs to the European Union and not the European Space Agency.

  2. 99% chance of not downloading properly. Download appears to be complete, but file is incomplete. This is after resuming downloads etc. More trouble shooting instructions would have been useful, as I expect you would have experienced the problems I have, but have chosen to gloss over HOW PROBLEMATIC the download is/can be.

  3. Sorry to hear that. I haven’t had this issue at all. You can also download Sentinel-2 data from USGS Earth Explorer, which should work 100% of the time

  4. I found that dragging an outline around an area on their display map revealed the swathpaths that I was after. Works like a treat.

  5. Using QGIS, images can be downloaded directly in your map with the semi-automatic classification plug-in.

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