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ESA / About Us / Ministerial Council 2012

Helping to predict the weather is the most mature application of Earth observation. Over the last four decades satellites have radically improved the accuracy of weather forecasts. Near-realtime meteorological images are at the heart of daily weather bulletins watched by millions across Europe and the world.

Metop is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. Metop is a series of three satellites to be launched sequentially over 14 years.

With the first satellite, Metop-A launched in 2006 Europe accomplished a long-held ambition to complement the geostationary Meteosat satellites with the provision of observations from LEO. Metop-B, the second in the series was launched on 17 September 2012.

Metop is now a cornerstone of the global network of meteorological satellites and provides the most detailed operational observations of the atmosphere, oceans and clouds available from polar orbit, and delivers input for numerical weather prediction models.

MetOp Second Generation
MetOp Second Generation

Proposal to the Ministerial Council

The programme proposal for the follow-on system, Metop Second Generation, enables the essential continuation of meteorological observations from Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

It will ensure continuity of these indispensable observations without data provision gaps, improve the accuracy and resolution of the measurements and provide new measurement capabilities.

The proposal covers the development of two series of Metop Second Generation satellites and instruments. The launch and LEOP services, ground segment development, procurement of the recurrent satellites and satellite operations will be part of a dedicated EUMETSAT Programme (EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation, EPS-SG).

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