*Update* on 27/10/2021 : the deadline has been extended to early January 2022 !

*Update* on 07/10/2021 : The deadline has been extended to the 15th of November !! And sample products are now available. We’re relieved, thank you ESA:

*Update* on 29/09/2021 : ESA just detailed the changes here, and they will become operational on the 26th of October !!


You might have noticed this sentence on the most recent Sentinel-2 status report :


Upgrade of the processing baseline for both Level1C and Level2A featuring several improvements in the algorithms and changing products format. The change is foreseen in September/October 2021 and further news will follow here.

From what we have heard at CNES, the changes will include :

  • A change in the coding of the reflectances : an offset will be added to keep the zero as no-data value, and still enable to code for zeroi or negative reflectances in the products.
  • The vector masks should be replaced by raster masks, which is probably not a simple change that you can implement with two lines of code.

The change should be put in production before the end of October, while we do not have any accurate description so far. Accounting for these modifications within our and your processors and products in such a short delay will be difficult. Within Theia and for the MAJA team, being on time for these changes will be a hard challenge. Turbulences ahead !


4 thoughts on “Turbulences ahead for Sentinel-2 users

  1. Hi Olivier,

    thanks for letting us know. I haven’t been able to find more details about these changes at the ESA website. I hope that MAJA won’t be seriously affected, if the two points are the main changes. L1C products don’t need to store negative values (DN), so this will likely only affect Sen2Cor L2A output. As for the masks, I’m not sure, but does MAJA read or validate them in any way?

    Best regards,
    Pablo d’Angelo

    1. Thank you Pablo, I’m afraid MAJA will really be affected.
      Negative and zero vallues are present in L1C due to bicubic interpolation, so the change will be implemented there. And MAJA makes an intense use of the vector masks and also delivers them as output, so probably big changes. I am quite worried

      1. On the upside (perhaps), would the newly added CAMS aerosol data be sufficient for MAJA to use instead of the manually downloaded CAMS data? It doesn’t mention the inclusion of aerosol type, but it does include the specific amounts for each type separately (salt, dust, black carbon etc), perhaps that could be used to make a reasonable guess on what the best overall type should be?

        1. Thank you for this comment. However the information provided is insufficient for MAJA. CAMS models depend on the relative humidity profiles (only the relative humidity at surface is available in the L1C products, and we also require the mixing ratio of the aerosols). We asked ESA o add this information but they did not add it.
          Best regards,

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