Minimize MetOp Programme
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The Meteorological Operational satellite programme (MetOp) is a European undertaking providing weather data services that are used to monitor climate and improve weather forecasts. The MetOp programme's series of three satellites has been jointly established by ESA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), forming the space segment of EUMETSAT's Polar System (EPS).

The programme also represents the European contribution to a new cooperative venture with the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which for the last 40 years has been delivering meteorological data from polar orbit, free of charge, to users worldwide.

With an array of sophisticated instrumentation, MetOp satellites can provide data of unprecedented accuracy and resolution on a host of different variables such as temperature and humidity, ocean surface wind speed and direction and concentrations of ozone and other trace gases - thus marking a major advance in global weather forecasting and climate monitoring capabilities.

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Taking Earth's temperature

13 January 2014

Like thermometers in the sky, satellite instruments can measure the temperatures of Earth's surfaces. ESA's new GlobTemperature project is merging these data from a variety of spaceborne sensors to provide scientists with a one-stop shop for land, lake and ice temperature data.

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Satellites improve air quality monitoring in South Africa

22 August 2013

Economic development often means an increase of harmful gases into the atmosphere. ESA's GlobEmission project uses satellite data to monitor atmospheric pollution from emissions.

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Facts and figures 
Operators EUMETSAT
Date of Launch MetOp-A: 19 October 2006
MetOp-B: 17 September 2012 
MetOp-C: Planned for 2016
Status MetOp-A: Operating nominally
MetOp-B: Operating nominally
Orbit Height 817 km
Orbit Type Sun-synchronous
Repeat Cycle 29 days
  • AMSU-A: 48 km 
  • ASCAT: <50 km
  • AVHRR: 1 km
  • GOME-2: 80 x 40 km or 160 x 40 km
  • HIRS/4: 10 km
  • IASI: 12 km
Swath Width
  • AMSU-A: 2074 km
  • ASCAT: 500 km
  • AVHRR: 2000 km
  • GOME-2: 960 or 1920 km
  • HIRS/4: 2160 km
  • IASI: 2112 km
  • MHS: 1920 km
Onboard Sensors
  • A-DCS (Advanced Data Collection System)
  • AMSU-A1 and AMSU-A2 (Advanced Microwave Sounding Units)
  • ASCAT (Advanced Scatterometer)
  • AVHRR/3 (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer)
  • GOME-2 (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2)
  • GRAS (Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding)
  • HIRS/4 (High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder)
  • IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer)
  • MHS (Microwave Humidity Sounder)
  • SARP-3 (Search and Rescue Processor)
  • SARR (Search and Rescue Repeater)
  • SEM-2 (Space Environment Monitor)