ESA and EUMETSAT jointly developed the MetOp-A satellite, which was launched in October 2006 and defines the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS). Two additional platforms of the MetOp series are to follow at 4-5 year intervals, thereby assuring high-quality data until at least 2020. This is also facilitated because the MetOp series satellites are equipped with almost identical instruments. Together with the NOAA-18 satellite, which circles the earth in an afternoon polar orbit—the local overflight time in the descending node is 2 pm—MetOp-A makes it possible to comprehensively monitor the weather worldwide from earth orbit.

Table: MetOp-A Mission Parameters
Dimensions 17.6 m × 6.7 m × 5.4 m
Total mass 4.1 t
Layload 930 kg
Number of instruments 8 (5 Europa / 3 USA)
Launcher Soyuz-ST Fregat
Launch October 19, 2006

Table: MetOp-A Orbit Parameters
Semi-major axis 7189 km
Orbit altitude (mean) 817 km
Inclination angle 98.7°
Orbital period 101.3 min
Orbit polar, sun synchronous
Overflight time 09:30 am
Orbits per day 14.2
Revisit 29 days

... see the link for more about MetOp


Dr. Diego Loyola
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Remote Sensing Technology Institute

Tel: +49 8153 28-1367

Fax: +49 8153 28-1446
URL for this article
Links zu diesem Artikel