The METimage concept
METimage is an advanced multispectral imaging radiometer for meteorological applications to be integrated in the EUMETSAT Polar System –Second Generation (EPS-SG) which is planned to be operational as of 2021. METimage is a multi-purpose instrument, which will provide inter alia detailed information on clouds, cloud cover, land surface properties, and sea, ice, and land surface temperature.Core item of the METimage instrument is a rotating telescope scanner covering the large swath width of about 2800 km, which is needed for a global coverage by a polar platform. The de-rotated image facilitates in-field spectral channel separation, which allows tailoring individual channel GSD (ground sampling distance) and features like TDI (time delay and integration). State-of-the-art detector arrays and read-out electronics will be employed. The reflecting telescope design is able to support demanding requirements on image quality and ground resolution.
The METimage instrument
The chosen instrument concept covers a spectral range from 443 nm to 13.345 μm and provides spectral channels. The ground sampling distance is 500 m and 250 m for selected high-resolution channels.
The concept for METimage with the rotating telescope was developed and patented by Jena-Optronik. The instrument development is currently in the development phase B.
The EUMETSAT Polar System
The EUMETSAT Polar System is Europe's contribution to the system of polar orbiting meteorological satellites that is being maintained jointly with the USA. Within the system, EUMETSAT is in charge of the so-called mid-morning orbit on which satellites cross the equator at 9:30h local time.
Work on a system called EPS – Second Generation (EPS-SG) that is designed to replace EPS started as early as 2005. Related mission requirements were developed by a team of experts on the basis of user needs. Under 18 so-called EPS-SG 'candidate missions' the VII mission, which will be fulfilled by METimage, had received the highest priority.
The space component of EPS-SG will be implemented by the MetOp-SG satellites. The ESA MetOp-SG development programmeis in phase B as of Spring 2012. ESA will submit its complete MetOp-SG programme for adoption to the 2012 meeting of the ESA Ministerial Council. The first satellite of the EPS successor system needs to be available by 2020 at the latest.
The Federal Ministry for Transportation, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS), which is responsible for EUMETSAT, has a particular interest in METimage and provides the funding of the German share of the instrument development. On behalf of BMVBS, DLR Space Administration will conclude a cooperation agreement with EUMETSAT, covering the development of the METimage instrument and the delivery of three METimage flight models for EPS-SG.