ESA Sentinels are the first series of operational satellites to meet the Earth observation needs of the European Union-ESA Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program. The pair of Sentinel-3 satellites provide global, frequent and near-real-time ocean, ice and land monitoring. The Sentinel-3A satellite was launched in February 2016. Sentinel-3B was launched in April 2018.
At AOCS level, the main innovation consists in implementing a PROBA-like autonomy. In order to allow the PROBA technology transfer to Sentinel-3, NGC engineers have been responsible for the orbit navigation and attitude guidance functions as well as for the design and validation of the Normal Operation Mode (NOM) which is the mission mode. This project highlights the skills and competence of NGC in developing autonomous flight software. The Sentinel-3 AOCS software is designed and coded in MATLAB/Simulink. The AOCS functions are also automatically translated into C code for implementation within the onboard software.