Sentinel: From Science To Services – surfing in Plymouth gathers oceanic data

Sentinel: From Science To Services
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Sentinel: From Science To Services – a smart fin attached to a surfboard helps gather data to study the oceans. Most done off the coast of Plymouth in the UK. It’s a tough job but an essential one. Sentinel-3B blasts off Wednesday April 25 from Russia.  We will be streaming LIVE watch from 18:00BST 

Scientist, Dr Bob Brewin of the Plymouth marine laboratory is behind the idea.  He has developed an  instrument known as the SmartFin Bob which is attached to the surfboard ready for research. In fact the surfboard has other scientific instruments to track information.

By equipping the surfboard with the device it can measure sea surface temperature.  Also detect motion of coastal waters with the smartphone.  The data from the SmartFin helps interpret material transmitted back from the sentinel-3 satellite data.

This is an important development for the research lead by the European Space Agency.  A different approach to the study of oceans. It is amazing what can be done for science.


By the end of the month ESA will launch the Sentinel-3B Earth observation satellite to join its twin brother Sentinel-3A in orbit. will be with the Sentinel live at the launch.

Both satellites are part of Copernicus, the European Union’s earth observation programme lead by the European Commission. Copernicus aims at monitoring our planet.  Data is freely providing for the Copernicus services, the scientific community and to any other interested party.

In this video different examples of Sentinel-3 data usage for oceanic research are explored.


Following Brexit British scientists will continue their work with the ESA.  Is this a good thing?  Or should the UK pull out?  At this stage UK continues providing expertise to the Agency.  Let’s hope it will continue.

Do you have interest in space?  Is this kind of scientific work valuable?  Do you follow the developments and changes that arise from science?  Should there be more work done for the benefit of environment?  A lot is needed to be done. Efforts have begun to clear plastic. A lot of it ends up in the ocean. To keep it clean is key.

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