As one of the first institutions in Europe, DFD has now become an official component of the Copernicus Sentinel ground segment. On 22 January 2015 the Sentinel-1 Processing and Archiving Center at DFD passed its Operational Readiness Review and is now free to begin operations.
As a Processing and Archiving Center (PAC), DFD archives the preprocessed data received from the Copernicus acquisition stations, systematically refines them into data products, and makes them available worldwide. The necessary infrastructure has been assembled since 2012 and includes a 10 gigabit link to the Copernicus network. Since December 2014 over 50,000 data products from Sentinel-1A, amounting to a data volume of almost 50 terabytes, have already been processed and archived at DFD. Over one terabyte of data is being added daily, and this will increase as data from new missions are incorporated.
The future Copernicus fleet will comprise six Sentinel satellites. A payload ground segment with acquisition stations and a total of seven processing and archiving centers is being created for them. Within this network DFD is responsible for the processing, long-term archiving and distribution of the Sentinel-1 radar images and the mid-resolution optical data from the Sentinel-3 mission (OLCI sensor). Sentinel-3 is scheduled for launch in the third quarter of 2015. For this reason the Sentinel-3 OLCI PAC should also be ready for operation by the end of the year.
The expansion of the Sentinel PACs at DFD was financed by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, among others.