Minimize MetOp Programme
Web Content Image

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.

Minimize Mission News
Web Content Image

Europe secures new generation of weather satellites

16 October 2014

Contracts were signed on 16 October to build three pairs of MetOp Second Generation satellites, ensuring the continuity of essential information for global weather forecasting and climate monitoring for decades to come.

Web Content Image

Taking weather forecasting into the future

20 May 2014

The first documents signalling the go-ahead for Europe's fleet of MetOp Second Generation weather satellites were signed today in the presence of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Berlin Air Show.

Minimize Facts and Figures
Facts and figures
Operators EUMETSAT
Date of Launch MetOp-A: 19 October 2006
MetOp-B: 17 September 2012
MetOp-C: Planned for 2018
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)