Spacecraft specifications

MetOp-A satellite

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 4,000 kg and making it the second largest European Earth Observation satellite after Envisat.

Deployment of the solar array
Deployment of the solar array

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.

Satellite performance

Launch configuration     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   

Mass budget

Service Module 1380 kg
Solar Array 255 kg
Payload Module 1214 kg
Fuel 316 kg
Payload      920 kg             
Total 4085 kg

Power budget

  Average power consumption (W)   
Instruments 885
Payload Module 491
Service Module 437
Total 1813

Last update: 21 June 2006

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