Sunday, October 19, 2014

ESA Secures New Generation MetOp-SG Weather Satellites

Contracts were signed today 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.

MetOp-SG is a cooperative undertaking between ESA and Eumetsat, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

These new satellites offer enhanced continuity of the current MetOp series, today’s main source of global weather data.

Comprising six satellites in total, the mission is based on a pair of satellites that carry different packages to deliver complementary meteorological information.

The A series of satellites will be equipped with atmospheric sounders as well as optical and infrared imagers, while the B series focuses on microwave sensors.

Following the first documents that were signed at the Berlin Air Show earlier this year, the full contracts to build the six MetOp-SG satellites were signed today by ESA and Airbus Defence and Space.

The ceremony at ESA headquarters in Paris, France, was attended by Geneviève Fioraso, the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, and the Director-General of Eumetsat, Alain Ratier.

Airbus Defence and Space France now takes up the role as prime contractor for the A satellites and Airbus Defence and Space Germany for the B series.

Although the different satellites will be developed and built in Toulouse, France and Friedrichshafen, Germany, respectively, a large industrial consortium of many European companies will be involved under the leadership of Airbus Defence and Space.

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