Center for Earth Observation

...supporting the remote sensing needs of the University

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.

ENVI version 5.4.1 can open Sentinel 2 data directly from the main menu as File | Open.  You then select the appropriate header file that will be in .XML format.  A 10m resolution Color InfraRed view of the scene will open and the lower resolution files will be available in the Data Manager.

If you are working with ENVI version 5.3 you may need to follow the following suggestions:

Sentinel 2 data use very long folder and filenames that may cause problems in the Windows operating system.  You should extract the data into a folder near the top of the file structure.  By this we mean U:\  rather than something like:  U:\Project\Rasters\Sentinel\MyNewData\ImageDate.  Once the data are extracted rename the new data folder to a shorter name.  For example, a typical Sentinel data folder name might be: 
S2A_OPER_PRD_MSIL1C_PDMC_20160613T000058_R084_V20160612T181447_20160612T181447.SAFE.  You should rename this to something like:  June10

In December 2016 the ESA revised their naming conventions and data packaging structures.  This impacts how we can access these data.  On the USGS Earth Explorer site data in the original format can be identified by the ENITY ID beginning with “S2A_OPER” and were acquired until 5 December 2016.  These data can be opened in ENVI 5.3.x.  Data acquired from 6 December 2016 on have an ENTITY ID beginning with “L1C_T” and use the new format and naming convention.  These data can only be opened in ENVI version 5.4 and later.  Instructions on how to import these data can be found below.

From the main ENVI menu select File | Open As | Optical Sensors | Sentinel 2.

The YCEO Lab currently supports ENVI 5.3.1 and cannot be used to open Sentinel 2 data in the new format.  We plan to explore other methods of opening these data to make them usable in ENVI in the near future.