The MetOp satellite builds on the heritage gained from a successful series of European satellites including SPOT, ERS and Envisat. It is made up of two main sections - the Payload Module and the Service Module. The MetOp satellite was developed by a consortium of European companies led by the main contractor EADS-Astrium, France.
The Payload Module accommodates the whole suite of instruments and associated support equipment. The Service Module provides the main satellite support functions, such as command and control, communications with the ground, power, attitude and orbit control, and propulsion. It also interfaces with the launcher. Together with the instruments, the satellite weighs just over 4000 kg and making it the second largest European Earth observation satellite after Envisat.
Satellite overall configuration
MetOp design is based on a modular concept. The satellite consists of a solar array and two modules: the Service Module (SVM) and the Payload Module (PLM).
The external configuration of the satellite is mainly driven by:
- the fields of view and performances of instruments, sensors, radiators and antennas
- the available volume under Soyuz-ST Fregat fairing
- the ease and cost of manufacturing, integrating and testing
- the maximum de-coupling among the various elements
- the accessibility to some critical areas (e.g. where required for functional checks of instruments or sensors)
The base of the SVM interfaces with the launcher through a standard 1666 adaptor via a clamp and attachment/release device.
length 6.3 m|
transverse section: 2.5 x 2.5 m
|In-orbit configuration||17.6 m x 6.6 m x 5.0 m|
|Service Module||1380 kg|
|Solar Array||255 kg|
|Payload Module||1214 kg|
|Average power consumption (W)|