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ABSTRACT The ESA Sentinels constitute the first series of operational satellites responding to the Earth Observation needs of the EU-ESA Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme. The GMES space component relies on existing and planned space assets as well as on new complementary developments by ESA. This paper describes the Sentinel-1 mission, an imaging synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation at C-band. It provides an overview of the mission requirements, its applications and the technical concept for the system.