MetOp is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. It represents the European contribution to a new co-operative venture with the United States providing data to monitor climate and improve weather forecasting. MetOp is a series of three satellites to be launched sequentially over 14 years, forming the space segment of EUMETSAT's Polar System (EPS).
The first satellite, MetOp-A, was launched on 19 October 2006. MetOp
MetOp carries a set of 'heritage' instruments provided by the United States and a new generation of European instruments that offer improved remote sensing capabilities to both meteorologists and climatologists. The new instruments will augment the accuracy of temperature humidity measurements, readings of wind speed and direction, and atmospheric ozone profiles.
MetOp flies in a polar orbit corresponding to local 'morning' while the US will be responsible for 'afternoon' coverage. The series will provide data for both operational meteorology and climate studies. The combination of instruments on board MetOp has remote sensing capabilities to observe the Earth by day and night as well as under cloudy conditions.
6.2 x 3.4 x 3.4 metres (under the launcher fairing)|
17.6 x 6.5 x 5.2 metres (deployed in orbit)
09.30 mean local solar time (Equator crossing, descending node)
|Inclination||98.7 degrees to the Equator|
|Time for one orbit||101 minutes|
|Repeat cycle||29 days|
|Mean altitude||Approximately 817 km|
|Payload mass||931 Kg|
|Power||1812 W average power consumption (end-of-life)|
MetOp-A: 19 October 2006
MetOp-B: 19 September 2012
from Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan
|Launch vehicle||Soyuz-ST Fregat|
|Mission duration||Six months of commissioning followed by 4.5 years operational mission|
Last update: 6 August 2012