[Via Satellite 05-27-2014] The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space signed the first contractual documents for the construction of the MetOp Second Generation (MetOp SG) weather satellites. The agreement was signed before German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the International Airshow ILA in Berlin, Germany.
The MetOp SG program is a joint cooperative between ESA and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and will provide enhancements to meteorological data. The program will use 10 different instruments to cover a complete range of observations including ultra-violet, visible, infrared and microwave spectral bands.
The MetOp SG space segment consists of two series of satellites — “Satellites A” with a focus on optical instruments and “Satellites B” with a focus on microwave instruments — based on the Astrobus high power platforms, with up to three satellites allotted for each series. The industrial Airbus team in Toulouse, France will develop the “A” satellites, while the “B” satellites will be manufactured at the company’s location in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The launch of the first Satellite “A” is scheduled for 2021, followed by the launch of the first Satellite “B” in 2022.