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METOP A [Astrium]

METOP (Meteorological Operational) is Europe's first polar-orbiting operational meteorological satellite. It is the European contribution to the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS), a co-operative agreement between Eumetsat and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide data for climate and environmental monitoring and improved weather forecasting. The first Metop satellite was launched in 2006, with the other two following at five-year intervals. In total, the programmes will be operational for at least 14 years.

The Metop system will deliver valuable information on the atmosphere, land masses and sea surfaces for about 14 years – both during the day and at night. The satellites' main task is to measure the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere, but they will also observe clouds, measure the wind speed on the sea surface and monitor the ozone content of the atmosphere. Metop will also be able to collect data from ground and sea-based measuring stations and transmit rescue signals.

METOP will feature following instruments:

  • A/DCS (Advanced Data Collection System) - Argos-3
  • AMSU (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit)
  • ASCAT (advanced scatterometer)
  • AVHRR/3 (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer)
  • GOME-2 (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment–2)
  • GRAS (GNSS receiver for atmospheric sounding)
  • HIRS/4 (High Resolution Infrared Sounder)
  • IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer)
  • MHS (Microwave Humidity Sounder)
  • SARP/3 (Search And Rescue Processor)
  • SARR (Search And Rescue Repeater)
  • SEM-2 (Space Environmental Monitor)

EADS Astrium is prime contractor for the construction of the Metop satellites and will supply both the platform and three of the most important measuring instruments: the advanced scatterometer (ASCAT), the GNSS receiver for atmospheric sounding (GRAS) and the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS).

NOAA provides the A/DCS, AMSU, AVHRR/3, HIRS/4, SARP/3, SARR, SEM-2. CNES provides IASI.

Nation: Europe
Type / Application: Meteorology
Contractors: Astrium
Configuration: PPF/SPOT Mk.3
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Lifetime: 5 years
Mass: 4244 kg (#A); 4085 kg (#B)
Orbit: 819 km × 820 km, 98.74 (#A); 806 km × 810 km, 98.74 (#B); 806 km × 807 km, 98.74 (#C)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
METOP A 2006-044A 19.10.2006 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat
METOP B 2012-049A 17.09.2012 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat
METOP C 2018-087A 07.11.2018 Ko ELS Soyuz-ST-B Fregat-M

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