Download Sentinel-2 L2A products

Sundarban, Bangladesh >> captured by Sentinel-2A (processed with Sentinelhub)

Dear Remote Sensers!

As ESA announced on May 2nd (so definitely no Aprils Fool) there will (finally!) be L2A products available for download on the Open Access Hub:

The data access has been opened as of 2 May 2017, while products with sensing date from 28 March 2017 onwards will be progressively made available.

L2A products are now searchable via the GUI either through the advance search panel by selecting S2MSI2Ap from the Product Type drop down menu, or by typing in the full text search bar producttype:S2MSI2Ap

L2A product footprints are shown on map with a brown colour.

More information here.

What does this mean?

Well, this means that all Sentinel-2 images acquired after March 28 are now available for download with a quality cloud mask and an atmospheric correction directly on the ESA SCIHUB. This is great news! Finally we don’t have to process the images ourselves! The atmospehrically corrected images with a cloud mask are usually called L2A products and are processed by sen2cor.

So how do I download the images?

If you want to download the Sentinel-2 L2A images (atmospherically corrected + cloud mask) follow the steps in this short tutorial:

1. Go to the ESA SciHub

This is the official ESA download portal for Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 products. Create a new account by clicking on “SIGN UP” and follow the steps. If you already have an account click “LOGIN”.

Sign Up on ESA SciHub

2. Search for an image

Once you are logged in, first specy an Area of Interest by drawing a rectangle on the map and then click on the symbol on the upper left to insert more detailed search parameters:

Search for an Image

2. Insert search criteria

Now a window on the left side opens. Here you can insert all kind of search criteria. At first this might look complicated, but no worries it’s actually quite simple:

  1. Insert a sensing period: In what date are you interested? Keep in mind that atmosperically corrected images are only available from March 28 onwards.
  2. Select the Mission: We are looking for Sentinel-2 Images. So tick the Sentinel-2 Mission.
  3. Select a product type: We want L2A data (cloud mask +  atm. correction). So select S2MSI2Ap. And Specify a cloud cover: How many clouds do you allow to be in your scene? Specify a percentage range. In my case I want to see all images available images [0 TO 100] (in % of cloud cover).
  4. Click on the search symbol. Thats it! The search may take some time and it can also happen that there are no images available for your specified parameters. If that happens, change your sensing period or set a more relaxed parameter for the cloud cover and search again!

3.Check out your results

After a couple of seconds the content of the left window will display the search results. You can see a thumbnail of each scene, its name and a download url:

Make sure that the search result really is a L2A product by looking at its name. If it says “MSIL2A” like in the screenshot above, you are good to go! Click on the download link and voila, you have downloaded your first L2A atmosperically corrected Sentinel-2 tile.

Whats more to say than happy sensing!

If you have a question, leave me a comment below!

Cheers Martin

About This Author

Martin was born in Czech Republic and studied at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. He is currently working at GeoVille - an Earth Observation Company based in Austria, specialised in Land Monitoring. His main interests are: Open-source applications like R, (geospatial) statistics and data-management, web-mapping and visualization. He loves travelling, geocaching, photography and sports.

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  • Hi, I wanted to know if there is any difference between MSIL2A and MSIL2Ap ?

    YAN BENSAMOUN 5 years ago Reply

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