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MetOp-A, European Meteorological Satellite


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#31    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 11:27 PM

MetOp launch postponed

17 October 2006

The launch of MetOp is postponed due to an anomaly which happened in the last 2 seconds before launch. More information will follow tomorrow.

François Maroquene, Starsem, said "We had to stop the final countdown a few seconds before launch. It is impossible to launch today as we only have one launch opportunity per day. A team will analyse the situation and we will know in two or three hours if it is feasible to launch tomorrow."


Source: ESA - MetOp

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#32    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 11:03 AM

New launch attempt for MetOp

18 October 2006

The countdown of the MetOp launch stopped 1m 10s before lift-off yesterday due to an anomaly related to the ground control system. The cause has been identified and corrected following overnight verifications. The new launch attempt will take place today Wednesday 18 October at 18:28 CEST (16:28 UTC; 22:28 Baikonur time).


Source: ESA - News

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#33    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:40 PM

Weather conditions delay MetOp launch

18 October 2006

With 2h 35m left in the countdown, the MetOp launch has been postponed due to the presence of strong winds at high altitude, as confirmed by a weather probe launched around 15:00 CEST. The new launch attempt is scheduled for tomorrow Thursday 19 October at 18:28 CEST.


Source: ESA - News

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#34    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:53 PM

MetOp launched

user posted image

19 October 2006
MetOp, Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology, has been launched at 18:28 CEST from Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.
Status reports at www.esa.int/metop

user posted image

MetOp, renamed 'MetOp-A' after launch, is the first in a series of three satellites, developed as part of a joint undertaking between ESA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), whereby MetOp forms the space segment of EUMETSAT's Polar System (EPS).

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MetOp represents the European contribution to a new cooperative venture with the United States providing data to monitor climate and improve weather forecasting.

user posted image


Source: ESA - News

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#35    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:38 PM

Europe’s new MetOp weather satellite reaches polar orbit


user posted image
MetOp has been launched on 19 October 2006 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Credits: ESA


19 October 2006
ESA PR 38-2006. For 28 years, Europe has been operating its famous Meteosat weather satellites in geostationary orbit. Today, they were joined by the first of a brand new generation of meteorological satellites. MetOp is designed to provide a closer view of the atmosphere from low earth orbit, delivering data that will improve global weather prediction and enhance our understanding of climate change.

The first of three satellites developed under a joint programme being carried out by the European Space Agency and the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation (EUMESAT), MetOp-A was successfully launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan by a Russian Soyuz 2/Fregat rocket operated by the Euro-Russian company Starsem.

The Soyuz 2 launcher, on its first operational mission, lifted off at 18:28 CEST (16:28 UT) with the 4093kg spacecraft encapsulated in a new 4.1m diameter payload fairing, similar in shape and size to that of Ariane 4. The newest member of the nearly 50-year old Semyorka family of boosters, Soyuz 2 is due to be launched from French Guiana from 2008 onwards.

Some 69 minutes after launch, the Fregat upper stage released the first MetOp satellite into a circular orbit at an altitude of 837km over the Kerguelen archipelago in the South Indian Ocean.

With a slightly retrograde 98.7° inclination, this orbit will enable MetOp-A to circle the globe from pole to pole while always crossing the equator at the same local time, i.e. 9:30 am. Known as ‘sun-synchronous’, this type of orbit allows revisits to almost each point of the Earth’s surface under similar solar illumination conditions on an approximately daily basis.

The satellite is now under the control of ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, and has deployed its solar array. Over the coming days, it will undergo the first technical check-outs of its systems and will deploy its antennas. Handover to EUMETSAT is expected on 22 October for full satellite commissioning and routine operations.

MetOp-A will form the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), designed to collect atmospheric and environmental data to complement the hemispheric survey conducted from geostationary orbit by the Meteosat system. EPS will be operated in coordination with the US Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) system managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While NOAA satellites are deployed in an ‘afternoon’ orbit (i.e. crossing the equator in the afternoon, local time), Europe’s MetOp will take up service in a ‘morning’ orbit.

The most complete atmospheric probe ever

To fulfil its ambitious mission, MetOp-A incorporates a comprehensive remote-sensing payload consisting of a set of new-generation European instruments, plus a set of ‘heritage’ instruments provided by the United States similar to those flown on current NOAA satellites.

Supplied by the French space agency CNES, the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) will take measurements in more than 8000 channels to provide temperature and water vapour profiles with unprecedented accuracy to feed numerical weather-prediction models. Its soundings will be complemented by measurements from the US heritage instruments and the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS), a five-channel radiometer developed for EUMETSAT but also planned to fly on future NOAA satellites.

user posted image
As solar radiation reaches the Earth's atmosphere and surface a certain percentage is reflected or backscattered out to space. The degree to which incident light is backscattered depends on the albedo of the surface the light encounters, for example, clouds in the atmosphere have a high albedo so a large proportion of sunlight is reflected back.

GOME-2 is able determine amounts of certain gases present in the atmosphere through the principles of spectrometry, where, in incoming light is split into its spectral components to reveal absorption lines, which correspond to the various gases present the observed sample.

Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab


Jointly developed by ESA and EUMETSAT, the second-generation Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME-2) is an improved version of a scanning spectrometer already flown on ERS-2 which is designed to probe the atmosphere for profiles of ozone concentrations as well as other trace gases.

Another ESA/EUMETSAT instrument with a strong ERS programme legacy is the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT). This enhanced C-band radar will measure the speed and direction of winds over the surface of the oceans, also to feed numerical weather prediction models, but in addition providing useful information on ice, snow and soil moisture.

One new instrument developed by ESA and EUMETSAT is the GNSS Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding (GRAS), which will use occultation of satellite navigation signals through the atmospheric limb to derive atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles.

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From MetOp's polar orbit, the IASI instrument observes the Earth up to an angle of 48.5° perpendicular to both sides of the satellite track corresponding to a swath of about 2 000 kilometres on the ground. Each sample is made up of four circular pixels with a maximum diameter of 12 kilometres at nadir. One swathe achieves 30 equally spaced Earth views (and two calibration views). The incoming radiation is measured in three spectral bands. Band one (15.5 to 8.26 microns) contributes mainly to retrievals of temperature profiles and ozone, band two (8.26 to 5 microns) contributes to retrievals of humidity and some trace gases and band three (5 to 3.62) contributes to retrievals of temperature and some trace gases.

Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab


NOAA-supplied instruments include: the third-generation Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR-3) to acquire global imagery of cloud cover as well as of ocean and land surfaces; two 15-channel Advanced Microwave Sounding Units (AMSU/A) to scan atmospheric temperature profiles; and the fourth-generation High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS), a 20-channel equivalent of the IASI interferometer which will support validation of data collected by the European instrument and serve as a back-up afterwards.

In addition, MetOp-A carries an advanced Argos data collection system supplied by CNES to locate and communicate with automated stations, whether fixed or mobile; two search & rescue payloads respectively provided by the Canadian Space Agency and CNES to support the international Cospas-Sarsat network by picking up and retransmitting distress signals; and a US-supplied Space Environment Monitor (SEM-2), a spectrometer to survey the charged particle flux in space.

A major boost to weather forecasting

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MetOp will be monitored and controlled via the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) Command and Data Acquisition station in Svalbard, Norway. Data will be downlinked to Svalbard once per orbit and then transferred to EUMETSAT in Darmstadt, Germany. From here, there is a data exchange with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the USA, and then after processing, the data is distributed to the users within 2 hours 15 minutes of the observations being made in space. MetOp forms the European contribution to the joint European-American polar satellite system. Through this international partnership, MetOp will provide the morning coverage while the NOAA satellites cover the afternoon orbits. Data is processed by both EUMETSAT and NOAA.

Credits: ESA - AEOS Medialab


Approved back in 1992, MetOp is a meteorological operational satellite programme like Meteosat. ESA’s contribution to its inception is being managed through the Earth Watch component of its Living Planet Programme. ESA is in charge of the satellite’s development and procurement. In that capacity, it funded most of the first flight model manufacturing. EUMETSAT is in charge of the operational system and is funding the development of the ground segment and follow-on satellites, the launchers and operations.

Three flight models have been ordered from an industrial team led by EADS Astrium. The spacecraft, integrated in Toulouse, France, are based on a bus derived from ESA's Envisat and France's Spot 5 satellites and incorporate advanced equipment to ensure flexible operations, with more than 36 hours’ autonomy and a 24 Gbit data storage capability.

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The SvalSat Station on the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard

MetOp satellites will circle the planet some 14 times a day, gathering data that they will download to the EPS Command & Data Acquisition (CDA) ground station located in the Svalbard archipelago, North of Norway. Due to its high latitude (78°N), the CDA station will be visible to MetOp on each of its orbits, as the satellite flies over the Arctic.

Once collected, MetOp data will be transmitted to EUMETSAT’s facilities in Darmstadt for processing and distribution. In addition, some real-time Polar System data will be broadcast directly to regional meteorological organisations whenever the satellite comes into visibility in terms of their receiving stations.

Thanks to its advanced payload and broadcast capacity, MetOp will be able to detect and report the early development of localised severe weather conditions, such as violent thunderstorms, which cannot be observed from geostationary orbit. The satellite will thus make it possible to issue weather alerts at much earlier notice than at present.

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MetOp data will be used to monitor climate and improve weather forecasts


"I congratulate our friends and partners from EUMETSAT, NOAA, CNES, Starsem, the European space industry and the international meteorological community on this successful launch", said ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain. "Like the two generations of Meteosat, this programme is more than a success story for international cooperation; it is the perfect illustration of what priceless benefits space can bring to all citizens.

"The harvest of data expected from MetOp-A and its follow-on satellites will provide a new dimension to our knowledge of the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. Not only will these data lead to tremendous improvements in the accuracy of weather forecasting in Europe and worldwide; they will also enable the science community to develop more complex models of our planet’s climate in order to better understand ongoing global change and steer international environmental policies accordingly."


Source: ESA - News

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#36    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:48 PM

ESA transfers operations of MetOp-A to EUMETSAT


user posted image
MetOp-A, Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite has been launched on 19 October from
the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Credits: EUMETSAT


23 October 2006
ESA has handed control of the MetOp-A satellite over to the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation (EUMETSAT) after the successful completion of the launch and early orbit phase. MetOp-A was launched on 19 October 2006 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, using a Soyuz ST rocket with a Fregat upper stage.

ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, handled the launch and early orbit phase (LEOP) activities, which started with the first acquisition of MetOp-A after the separation from the Fregat upper stage, continued with the solar array release and deployment, the first attitude acquisition, the transition to geocentric and later to yaw steering pointing modes . These activities, including all the antennae deployments, satellite reconfigurations for routine operations and the performance of the first orbit control manoeuvres, were performed as planned and were highly successful.  

To prepare for the transfer of operations, several orbits were used to confirm the operational readiness of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) infrastructure, with the back-up support of ESOC’s operations team and facilities. After these verifications, the formal transfer of MetOp-A operations to EUMETSAT started with orbit 42. The ESOC team continues to be available to support MetOp-A basic operations for the coming two weeks should EUMETSAT experience heavy ground segment problems.

The first activities conducted by the EUMETSAT operations team will be related to the MetOp-A payload switch-on and to the in-orbit verification of the satellite. These satellite-level tests were defined and will be coordinated by a joint ESA-EUMETSAT team, with the support of the partner organisations CNES and NOAA for the relevant instruments. These MetOp-A in-orbit verification activities will last about 10 to 12 weeks, the duration being variable for each payload instrument, due to specific needs such as out gassing or raw data validation.


Source: ESA - News

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#37    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:58 PM

First instrument aboard MetOp-A successfully switched on


user posted image
First data acquired by AMSU-A instrument, aboard MetOp-A, in its fifteen channels.
In the lower part of Band 1, first stripe on the left, the Baja California coastline is
visible, in the middle part of the same band the Antarctic continent can be seen and
in the upper part the coast of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula are visible. The stripes
shown for the other bands correspond to the temperature of air at different heights
within the atmosphere. The primary purpose of the Advanced Microwave Sounding
Unit-A (AMSU-A) instrument, which detects radiated thermal energy emitted by the
air in different levels in the atmosphere, is to provide high temperature sounding data
even in cloudy conditions.

Credits: EUMETSAT


25 October 2006
The first instrument aboard MetOp-A has been switched on and has successfully acquired data. The primary purpose of the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) instrument, which detects radiated thermal energy emitted by the air in different levels in the atmosphere, is to provide high temperature sounding data even in cloudy conditions.

The data acquired by AMSU-A in its fifteen channels can be seen in the image above. In the lower part of the first stripe on the left, Band 1, the Baja California coastline is visible, in the middle part of the same band the Antarctic continent can be seen and in the upper part the coast of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula are visible. The images shown for the other bands correspond to the temperature of air at different heights within the atmosphere.

To fulfil its ambitious mission, MetOp-A incorporates a comprehensive remote-sensing payload consisting of a set of new-generation European instruments supplied by ESA, the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation (EUMESAT) and the French Space Agency (CNES), plus a set of ‘heritage’ instruments provided by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA provided the AMSU-A instrument. The AMSU-A instrument, manufactured by Northrop Grumman of Azusa, California, under contract to NASA, will undergo functional and performance checks during the coming weeks.

user posted image
MetOp-A, Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology,
was launched on 19 October 2006 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Credits: EUMETSAT


The first of three satellites developed under a joint programme being carried out by ESA and EUMESAT, MetOp-A was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 19 October 2006 by a Russian Soyuz 2/Fregat rocket operated by the Euro-Russian company Starsem. ESA handed control of MetOp-A over to EUMETSAT on 22 October following the satellite’s successful completion of the launch and early orbit phase.


Source: ESA - News

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#38    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 02:18 AM

First images from MHS and GOME-2 on MetOp-A


user posted image
First Level-1b image from MHS (Channel 1) on 31 October 2006, 12:27 UTC. The
flight direction of MetOp-A is from South America to Antarctica, and the subsequent
ascending node of the orbit leads over the western part of Australia, Borneo and the
eastern part of Asia.

Credits: EUMETSAT


2 November 2006
Now that all the instruments carried on MetOp-A have been successfully switched on, the first Level-1b images from the MHS instrument, which measures atmospheric humidity and temperature, and the first Earthshine spectra from the ozone monitoring instrument GOME-2 have been acquired.

These data are the latest to be released following the very first image received from the AMSU-A instrument (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit) on 25 October and images from the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) on 26 October.  

user posted image
Level-1 products from AVHRR (visible channels only). The AVHRR (Advanced
Very High Resolution Radiometer) on board MetOp scans the Earth's surface in six
spectral bands to provide day and night imaging of land, water and clouds. It also
measures sea-surface temperature, ice, snow and vegetation cover.

Credits: EUMETSAT


The European MHS (Microwave Humidity Sounder) was switched onto scan-mode on 31 October and its first image generated by the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) Ground Segment and analysed in its Calibration Validation Facility. The images display the Earth view radiances of the five channels for about one hour on the same day. In all five channels, the tropical cyclone named CIMARON east of South Korea is well-marked.

Developed by Astrium UK under EUMETSAT contract, MHS works in conjunction with four of the U.S. instruments provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); namely the Advanced Microwave Sounding Units–A1 and –A2 (AMSU), the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS).

The ensemble is termed the Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (ATOVS) and provides accurate vertical temperature and humidity profiles of the atmosphere. As part of ATOVS, MHS is already delivering valuable data as it is in operation on the NOAA-N satellite, which was launched in May 2005, and it will also form part of the payload on NOAA-N'. MHS represents a significant enhancement over the AMSU-B carried on earlier NOAA satellites.

The MHS detects microwave radiation emitted from the surface of the Earth at specific frequency bands. As the radiation passes through the atmosphere, the signal is partially absorbed by the moisture in cloud cover and precipitation etc, and hence altered. These alterations are detected at a number of different layers in the atmosphere, from which accurate profiles on atmospheric humidity as well as temperatures at the surface of the Earth can be derived.


user posted image
The first GOME-2 Earthshine spectra were acquired on 30 October 2006 after the
completion of initial functional testing. The plot shows an un-calibrated Earthshine
spectrum in binary units (BU).

Credits: EUMETSAT


The first GOME-2 (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2) Earthshine spectra were acquired on 30 October after completion on the initial testing procedure. The plot shows an un-calibrated Earthshine spectrum in binary units (BU).

It should be noted that all bands were commanded with the same integration time for this acquisition, which accounts for the very low signal levels in band 1a. These data were successfully processed by the EUMETSAT ground segment with both Level 1a and level 1b products being produced. However, accurate calibration of the level-1b data is not yet possible as this requires in-flight calibration data, which will be acquired progressively over the next weeks.

The enhanced GOME-2 instrument is a scanning spectrometer used to measure profiles of atmospheric ozone and to measure other trace gases in the atmosphere. GOME-2 is set to continue the long-term monitoring of atmospheric ozone started by GOME on ERS-2 and SCIAMACHY on Envisat.

Developed by Gailileo Avionica under ESA contract, GOME-2 will ensure that the future monitoring of atmospheric ozone is fast and accurate, contributing greatly to atmospheric chemistry research and climate monitoring. Observations of levels of other gases such as nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide will be used for the monitoring and forecasting of air quality while recorded levels of ozone will be used for warnings and UV forecasting. The meteorological services will further be using GOME-2 data in their numerical models, in order to contribute to their weather forecasts.

user posted image
MetOp-A is the first in a series of three EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) satellites
developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for EUMETSAT, the European
Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. This artist's impression
shows the deployment of the solar array.

MetOp-A was launched on 19 October 2006 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan, on a Soyuz ST rocket with a Fregat upper stage.

Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab


MetOp-A, launched on 19 October 2006, carries a set of 'heritage' instruments provided by the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the French Space Agency (CNES) and a new generation of five European instruments offering improved sensing capabilities to both meteorologists and climatologists.


Source: ESA - Living Planet Programme - MeOp

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#39    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 02:29 PM

MetOp-A takes up service

2 November 2006


linked-image
The MetOp series will be Europe's first polar-orbiting satellites dedicated to operational meteorology. They will be launched sequentially providing data until at least 2020. The first, MetOp-A, was launched in October 2006 on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab


EUMETSAT has just reported that Europe entered a new era of meteorology and climatology when MetOp-A, Europe’s first polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, was on 15 May 2007 officially declared operational after only six months of commissioning.

The first scientific data were received as early as two days after the end of the Launch and Early-Orbit Phase. Now the full data flow from its instruments is available to users on an operational basis, offering unprecedented accuracy and resolution of different variables such as temperature and humidity, wind speed, ozone and measurements of trace gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.

Through its instruments, which sound the atmosphere throughout its depth, MetOp-A gathers essential global information, day and night about the atmosphere, land and ocean surfaces. MetOp-A data will significantly improve weather forecasting e.g. by direct assimilation into Numerical Weather Prediction Models that compute forecasts ranging from a few hours to up to 10 days ahead.

Observations of sea-surface winds as provided by MetOp-A offer essential information to improve the determination of the motion of low pressure areas over the sea, in particular hurricanes.

Furthermore the new observations will enhance the global climate monitoring capabilities and help scientists understand the complex interactions between the various factors that influence the Earth’s climate system. Particularly, observations of ozone and trace gases - such as nitrogen dioxide which is related to industrial pollution - will provide a new look into environmental issues that affect us all.

linked-image
MetOp-A was launched on 19 October 2006 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Credits: Starsem

MetOp-A, launched on 19 October 2006, represents the first in a series of three satellites to be launched over the next 14 years, forming the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS). In line with the performance of the MetOp-A satellite, the newly developed EPS Ground System has shown an excellent performance especially with regard to availability of near real-time distribution of data to the End Users.

This official start of regular operations marks a new milestone in the ongoing development of the US-European Initial Join Polar System – and for the overall global cooperation between Europe and the US. The satellite was jointly developed with the European Space Agency (ESA) and manufactured by EADS Astrium as the prime contractor. The set of instruments onboard the satellite are provided by EUMETSAT, ESA, the French Space Agency (CNES) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


Source: ESA - Observing the Earth

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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