Sentinel-2 L2A

About Sentinel-2 L2A Data

Mission Information

Dedicated to supplying data for Copernicus services, Sentinel-2 is carrying a range of technologies, such as multi-spectral imaging instruments for land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring. It's is delivering high-resolution optical images for land monitoring, emergency response and security services. The satellite's multispectral imager provides a versatile set of 13 spectral bands spanning from the visible and near infrared to the shortwave infrared.

More information:

Basic Facts

Spatial resolution10 m, 20 m, and 60 m depending on wavelength
SensorMultiSpectral Instrument (MSI), 13 bands: 4 visible bands, 6 Near-Infrared bands, and 3 Short-Wave Infrared bands
Revisit time5 days
Spatial coveragelink
Data availabilitySince October 2016
Global Since January 2017
MeasurementBottom of the atmosphere (BOA) reflectance, processed from L1C with Sen2Cor
Common usage/purposeLand-cover maps, land-change detection maps, vegetation monitoring, monitoring of burned areas

Attribution and Use

EU law grants free access to Copernicus Sentinel Data and Service Information for the purpose of the following use in so far as it is lawful: a) reproduction; b) distribution; c) communication to the public; d) adaptation, modification and combination with other data and information; e) any combination of points a to d.

See more details on the use of Copernicus Sentinel data and service information

Tracing based on Sentinel imagery is allowed for commercial purposes as well.

Acknowledgment or credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [Year] processed by Sentinel Hub

Accessing Sentinel-2 L2A Data

To access data you need to send a POST request to our process API. The requested data will be returned as the response to your request. Each POST request can be tailored to get you exactly the data you require. To do this requires setting various parameters which depend on the datasource you are querying. This chapter will help you understand the parameters for S2L2A data. To see examples of such requests go here, and for an overview of all API parameters see the API Reference.

Endpoint Locations

ServiceNotes since November 2016
Global since January 2017 from November 2016 to October 2023
Global from January 2017 to to October 2023 since July 2016 CDSE docs; a separate account is required

Data type identifier: sentinel-2-l2a

Use sentinel-2-l2a (previously S2L2A) as the value of the parameter in your API requests. This is mandatory and will ensure you get Sentinel-2 L2A data.

Filtering Options

This chapter will explain the object of the S2L2A process API.


Sets the order of overlapping tiles from which the output result is mosaicked. Note that tiles will in most cases come from the same orbit/acquisition. The tiling is done by ESA for easier distribution.

mostRecentselected by default. The pixel will be selected from the tile, which was acquired most recentlyin case there are more tiles available with the same timestamp (some tiles are processed by many ground stations, some are reprocessed, etc.), the one, which was downloaded from SciHub later will be used.
leastRecentsimilar to mostRecent but in reverse order
leastCCpixel is selected from tile with the least cloud coverage metadatanote that "per tile" information is used here, each covering about a 12,000 sq. km area, so this information is only an estimate .


Sets the upper limit for cloud coverage in percent based on the precomputed cloud coverage estimate for each Sentinel-2 tile as present in the tile metadata. Satellite data will therefore not be retrieved for tiles with a higher cloud coverage estimate. For example, by setting the value to 20, only tiles with at most 20% cloud coverage will be used. Note that this parameter is set per tile and might not be directly applicable to the chosen area of interest.


Sentinel Hub API is optimised for full resolution data access as this is what most users need. While the Sentinel-2 L1C has low-resolution previews generated, this is not yet the case for Sentinel-2 L2A. Lower resolution processing is enabled by default, but the performance degrades after going beyond 250m per pixel (up to 1500m per pixel).

DETAILdisplays original data from full-resolution to 1500m per pixel

Processing Options

This chapter will explain the object of the S2L2A process API.

upsamplingDefines the interpolation used for processing when the pixel resolution is greater than the source resolution (e.g. 5m/px with a 10m/px source)NEAREST - nearest neighbour interpolation
BILINEAR - bilinear interpolation
BICUBIC - bicubic interpolation
downsamplingAs above except when the resolution is lower.NEAREST - nearest neighbour interpolation
BILINEAR - bilinear interpolation
BICUBIC - bicubic interpolation

A visual representation of upsampling results using various algorithms is available here.

Available Bands and Data

This chapter will explain the bands and data which can be set in the evalscript input object. Any string listed in the column Name can be an element of the input.bands array in your evalscript.

B01Coastal aerosol, 442.7 nm (S2A), 442.3 nm (S2B)60m
B02Blue, 492.4 nm (S2A), 492.1 nm (S2B)10m
B03Green, 559.8 nm (S2A), 559.0 nm (S2B)10m
B04Red, 664.6 nm (S2A), 665.0 nm (S2B)10m
B05Vegetation red edge, 704.1 nm (S2A), 703.8 nm (S2B)20m
B06Vegetation red edge, 740.5 nm (S2A), 739.1 nm (S2B)20m
B07Vegetation red edge, 782.8 nm (S2A), 779.7 nm (S2B)20m
B08NIR, 832.8 nm (S2A), 833.0 nm (S2B)10m
B8ANarrow NIR, 864.7 nm (S2A), 864.0 nm (S2B)20m
B09Water vapour, 945.1 nm (S2A), 943.2 nm (S2B)60m
B11SWIR, 1613.7 nm (S2A), 1610.4 nm (S2B)20m
B12SWIR, 2202.4 nm (S2A), 2185.7 nm (S2B)20m
AOTAerosol Optical Thickness map, based on Sen2Cor processor10m
SCLScene classification data, based on Sen2Cor processor, codelist20m
SNWSnow probability, based on Sen2Cor processor20m
CLDCloud probability, based on Sen2Cor processor20m
CLPCloud probability, based on s2cloudless (more)160m
CLMCloud masks (more)160m
sunAzimuthAnglesSun azimuth angle5000m
sunZenithAnglesSun zenith angle5000m
viewAzimuthMeanViewing azimuth angle5000m
viewZenithMeanViewing zenith angle5000m
dataMaskThe mask of data/no data pixels (more).N/A*

*dataMask has no source resolution as it is calculated for each output pixel.

Note: The cirrus band B10 is excluded as it does not contain any "bottom of the atmosphere" information (Source: Sen2Cor Configuration and User Manual).


The data values for each band in your custom script are presented in the units as specified here. In case more than one unit is available for a given band, you may optionally set the value of input.units in your evalscript setup function to one of the values in the Sentinel Hub Units column. Doing so will present data in that unit. The Sentinel Hub units parameter combines the physical quantity and corresponding units of measurement values. As such, some names more closely resemble physical quantities, others resemble units of measurement.

The Source Format specifies how and with what precision the digital numbers (DN) from which the unit is derived are encoded. Bands requested in DN units contain exactly the pixel values of the source data (See also Harmonize Values). Note that resampling may produce interpolated values. DN is also used whenever a band is derived computationally (like dataMask); such bands can be identified by having DN units and N/A source format. DN values are typically not offered if they do not simply represent any physical quantity, in particular, when DN values require source-specific (i.e. non-global) conversion to physical quantities.

Values in non-DN units are computed from the source (DN) values with at least float32 precision. Note that the conversion might be nonlinear, therefore the full value range and quantization step size of such a band can be hard to predict. Band values in evalscripts always behave as floating point numbers, regardless of the actual precision.

The Typical Range indicates what values are common for a given band and unit, however outliers can be expected.

For Sentinel-2 optical data, the relation between DN and REFLECTANCE (default unit) is: DN = 10000 * REFLECTANCE. See also Harmonize Values.

BandPhysical Quantity (units)Sentinel Hub UnitsSource FormatTypical Range
Optical bandsReflectance (unitless)REFLECTANCE (default)UINT150 - 0.4*
Optical bandsDigital numbers (unitless)DNUINT150 - 4000*
AOTAerosol optical thickness (unitless)OPTICAL_DEPTH (default) **UINT160 - 0.6**
AOTDigital numbers (unitless)DN**UINT160 - 600**
SCLScene classification mask (unitless)DNUINT80 - No data
1 - Saturated / Defective
2 - Dark Area Pixels
3 - Cloud Shadows
4 - Vegetation
5 - Bare Soils
6 - Water
7 - Clouds low probability / Unclassified
8 - Clouds medium probability
9 - Clouds high probability
10 - Cirrus
11 - Snow / Ice
SNWSnow probability (percent)PERCENTUINT80 - 100
CLDCloud probability (percent)PERCENTUINT80 - 100
CLPS2Cloudless cloud probability (unitless), multiplied by 255DNUINT80 - 255 (divide by 255 to get to the [0-1] range)
CLMS2Cloudless cloud mask (unitless)DNUINT80 - no clouds
1 - clouds
255 - no data
sunAzimuthAnglesAngle (degrees)DEGREESFLOAT3230 - 200
viewAzimuthMeanAngle (degrees)DEGREESFLOAT3290 - 300
sunZenithAnglesAngle (degrees)DEGREESFLOAT3215 - 80
viewZenithMeanAngle (degrees)DEGREESFLOAT320 - 12
dataMaskN/ADNN/A0 - no data
1 - data

*Higher values are expected in infrared bands. Reflectance values can easily be above 1.
** AOT = DN / 1000.

Harmonize Values

ESA updated the Sentinel-2 processing baseline to version 04.00 in January, 2022, which introduced breaking changes to the interpretation of digital numbers (DN). The optional harmonizeValues parameter gives you extra control over the values which enter your evalscript.

harmonizeValues can be true (default) or false, and it's behavior depends on the units chosen:

    • harmonizeValues = true: negative reflectance values are clamped to zero. In other words, pixels with negative reflectance return zero reflectance instead.
    • harmonizeValues = false: negative reflectance values can be returned.
  • DN:
    • harmonizeValues = true: DN values are harmonized so they are comparable with data from previous baselines. Therefore it still holds that DN = 10000 * REFLECTANCE. In addition, negative values are clamped to zero.
    • harmonizeValues = false: DN values are exactly as provided in the source files themselves. The "true" DN value, you could say. Don't forget that values have different definitions with different processing baselines, careful with mosaicking!


All mosaicking types are supported.

Scenes Object

scenes object stores metadata, for an example see scenes object for Sentinel-2 L1C.

Collection Specific Constraints

  • Each Sentinel-2 satellite takes 100.6 minutes for an entire orbit, with S2A and S2B orbiting 180 degree apart. By setting a time interval to less than 50 minutes, there should be no overlap possible between different acquisitions, even near the poles.
  • For atmospheric correction, ESA's official Sen2Cor is used. In most cases the processing is done by ESA itself. On users' request we can also process some archive data using the same processor.

Catalog API Capabilities

To access Sentinel 2 L2A product metadata you need to send search request to our Catalog API. The requested metadata will be returned as JSON formatted response to your request. This chapter will help with understanding Sentinel 2 L2A specific parameters for search request.

Collection identifier: sentinel-2-l2a

Filter extension

  • eo:cloud_cover cloud cover percentage

Distinct extension

  • date


S2L2A examples