The third in the series of MetOp satellites is scheduled for launch on 7 November from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou. In this special edition of Earth from Space, ESA’s MetOp-C project manager, Stéfane Carlier, talks about this latest polar-orbiting weather satellite and how its range of instruments provide data on a host of atmospheric variables such as temperature and humidity. These data are used largely for numerical weather prediction – the basis for weather forecasting. They also contribute to climate research.
The MetOp programme is a joint undertaking between ESA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, Eumetsat. The programme is also Europe’s contribution to a cooperative venture with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. The satellites work in conjunction with the NOAA satellite system. Not only do the MetOp and NOAA satellites fly in complementary orbits to offer maximum coverage, some of the instruments are common to both missions.