Working on the AMSU-A2 instrument. A very important feature of MetOp with its many instruments is the ability to combine the results of one instrument with others. To this end we have to know precisely - and this means to fractions of a degree - the instrument's field of view relative to each other. To achieve this, first the instruments have to be aligned by a precise optical measurement, and then the mechanical fine-tuning is performed by carefully positioning thin aluminium foils on the instrument mounting-plane.
MetOp-A was launched on 19 October 2006 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on a Soyuz ST rocket with a Fregat upper stage.