What is Copernicus Programme?

Copernicus Programme is the Earth Observation Programme managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the European Union (EU). The Copernicus Programme was established in 2014, previously it was known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). GMES programme started in 1998. This programme enables high quality and continuous observation of earth. This is done with the objective of assisting the international organisations and public authorities of Europe to improve the quality of life of European citizens. It is estimated that the benefits of this programme to the economy of the European Union stand at approximately 30 Billion Euros, through 2030. Under this programme, the EU monitors the delivery of data from more than 30 satellites.

Aspirants can find information on the structure and other important details related to the IAS Exam, in the linked article.

What are the Major Services Provided by the Copernicus Program?

The services offered by Copernicus Program is under the following domains.

  1. Atmosphere – focuses on 5 main areas; air quality, the ozone layer, emissions, solar radiation, climate forcing.
  2. Marine – focuses on marine safety, marine resources, seasonal forecasting, coastal and marine environment.
  3. Land – focuses on land cover, land use mapping, systematic monitoring of biophysical matter etc.
  4. Climate Change – scientists, planners, policymakers etc are users of this service.
  5. Security – provides support on border surveillance and maritime surveillance
  6. Emergency – Provides advance information on floods, fire, droughts etc.

What are Sentinels?

It is a family of satellites developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), to help in the operational requirements of the Copernicus Programme. The list of Sentinels is given below.

  1. Sentinel 1A and 1B – launched in 2014 and 2016 respectively. It provides all-weather, day and night radar images.
  2. Sentinel 2A and 2B – launched in 2015 and 2017 respectively. It delivers high-resolution optical images for land services.
  3. Sentinel 3 – It delivers data on land and ocean.
  4. Sentinel 4 and 5 – To monitor atmosphere from geostationary and polar orbits.
  5. Sentinel 6 – Provides information on oceanography and climate studies.

Has India Collaborated with Copernicus Program?

In the year 2018, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed an agreement on sharing data from the satellites. ESA will share the data from Sentinel satellites free of cost, with their Indian counterparts and India will share data from its multiple satellites which are dedicated for observation of land, ocean and atmosphere.

Multiple Choice Question

Consider the following Statements

  1. The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is an intergovernmental organisation created through an international convention agreed by a total of 30 European Member States. It is headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany.
  2. The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space, it was established in 1975 and is headquartered in Paris.
  3. The Baikonur Cosmodrome is a spaceport located in an area of southern Ukraine leased to the United States of America (USA).
  4. The National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) is the Brazilian government space agency. Its headquarters is located in Rio de Janeiro.

Choose the correct answer from the below given options

A) All the above given Statements are true.

B) Only Statements 2, 3 and 4 are true.

C) Only Statements 1, 3 and 4 are true.

D) Only Statements 1 and 2 are true.


Answer: D

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus 2020 page.

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