Center for Earth Observation

...supporting the remote sensing needs of the University

Sentinel 2

How to import Sentinel 2 data into ENVI

Once you have extracted the Sentinel 2 data and renamed the initial data folder as described in the previous FAQ, you are ready to import these data into ENVI.  As mentioned earlier, data with an Entity ID of S2A_OPER can be opened in ENVI 5.3.x and data with an Entity ID of L1C_T requires ENVI version 5.4 which is not installed on the YCEO Lab systems yet.  You can open these data using the ESA Sentinel tool kit.

Sentinel Data Prep

Most Sentinel 2 data can be opened using ENVI software version 5.3 and later.  ENVI opens the data as 3 separate files based on the spatial resolution; 10m, 20m, and 60m.  After opening the data and exploring it, you should save one or more of these datasets in the standard ENVI format to make data access quicker in the future.

Where can I get Sentinel 2 data

You can obtain Sentinel 2 data from the ESA and from the USGS.  Users must register for free access to data at either site.  Currently ESA distributes Sentinel 2 data in entire swaths.  These files are very large, sometimes 7+ GB when compressed.  You can access these data directly from the ESA Copernicus Open Access hub at:  https://scihub.copernicus.eu/   Users should read the online User Guide prior to searching for data.

What is Sentinel 2

Sentinel 2 is part of the Copernicus earth observation program developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the earth’s surface.  The Sentinel 2 portion of the program consists of a pair of satellites that are designed to acquire reflected sunlight in the optical wavelengths.  It is especially sensitive to variations in vegetation so is extremely useful for studying crops and forests.

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