I understant that these six different Earth-observing satellite platforms measure and image Earth data differenty, but there is just such a wide variety of different ways to build solar panels and attach them shown here. Are the shapes and attachment methods of the panels so extremely sensitive to they type of Earth observation being done? Or was a different contractor used each time and everybody wanted to avoid everybody else's patents?
Question: Why do the solar panels on the seven Sentinel configurations look so completely different from each other?
From What is Copernicus?
Copernicus is a European Union Programme aimed at developing European information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data.
From Sentinel Satellites:
The Sentinel Satellites are developed for the specific needs of the Copernicus programme. They provide a unique set of observations for Copernicus. Visit Sentinel Online!
They consist of six different families, presented below.
The Sentinel-5 configuration looks like MetOp-A.