Airbus Built MetOp-SG Second-Generation Weather Satellites Enter their Test Phases

Airbus Built MetOp-SG Second-Generation Weather Satellites Enter their Test Phases

The Airbus-built satellite twins, MetOp-SG A, and B will provide a panoply of new meteorological data that will substantially improve numerical weather prediction - the backbone of our daily weather forecasts - at regional and global levels. The multiple instruments on board will also provide key observations for climate monitoring, atmospheric chemistry, and other services such as air pollution, hydrology, land use, and oceanography that will help prevent climate change.

MetOp-SG comprises two satellite series, with three units in each series. Flying in a polar orbit, they are able to observe the entire planet in fine detail providing vital information on storms, volcanoes, landslides, wildfires, and other natural events on Earth. The A series carries optical and atmospheric instruments, essential to identify specific types of clouds from space or determine storm intensity. The B series hosts microwave instruments able to measure through the cloud cover to detect precipitation, the temperature in different layers of the atmosphere, and surface characteristics like ocean surface winds.

The integration of the first MetOp-SG-A, built at Airbus in Toulouse (France), was finalized last October with the installation of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer – New Generation (IASI-NG), the most complex of the satellite’s instruments. Four times more precise than its predecessor. IASI-NG will determine temperature and water vapor profiles in the atmosphere, record ocean surface, and land temperatures, and monitor a wide range of chemical compounds and other key variables for climate research, including greenhouse gases, desert dust, and cloud cover. IASI-NG will be a powerful tool for weather forecasting and monitoring the climate’s health at any moment in time to secure life and property on Earth. The spacecraft has completed its mechanical tests proving the satellite can withstand the harsh vibrations of launch and the solar panels have been deployed. Next up, the thermal vacuum test in space-like conditions to make sure the spacecraft can operate in space.

Integration of MetOp-SG-B was completed last week at Airbus in Friedrichshafen (Germany) with the installation of the advanced scatterometer, and the spacecraft is about to undergo its environmental test campaign. This scatterometer provides double the resolution of the previous and will be used to monitor ocean winds and continental ice sheets and to check land-surface soil moisture – a key driver of water and heat fluxes between the ground and the atmosphere. Scatterometers have been used to study unusual weather phenomena such as El Niño, the long-term effects of deforestation, and changes in sea-ice masses around the poles. All of which play a central role in monitoring climate change.

Airbus leads an industrial consortium comprising more than 110 companies in 16 European countries and Canada, on the complex MetOp-SG missions, the standard-bearers for sustainability. The first launch of the MetOp-SG mission is scheduled for 2025 after the completion of satellite-level testing. The nominal operational lifetime of each of the three MetOp-SG satellites is 7.5 years and will ensure full operational coverage over a 21-year period. MetOp-SG is a cooperative undertaking between the European Space Agency (ESA) and EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

Airbus Defence and Space has a long track record of building meteorological satellites for more than 30 years. The company was the prime contractor for the previous MetOp (Meteorological Operational Polar) series of meteorological satellites and also built the SEVIRI instrument flying on the spacecraft as well as Aeolus, the first spacecraft capable of performing global wind-component profile observations, daily and close to real-time. Airbus is involved in most of ESA’s Earth Explorer missions, and in all the Sentinel and Copernicus programs. Always pioneering the positive impact these programs have on the world and its citizens by respecting the planet and its sustainability, valuing people, and enabling prosperity.

Currently, Earth-observation satellites are at the forefront of monitoring deforestation, rising sea levels, and greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, all having a key impact on climate behavior. Airbus has built many of these satellites and transforms geospatial data into actionable insight to help fight climate change. Today, 20 Airbus satellites are involved in climate change monitoring and an additional 20 are in development that will measure key atmospheric constituents, land and sea topography, air quality, temperature and humidity, and snow and ice coverage. This critical geospatial data enables us to: provide scientists with a better understanding of the Earth’s system and evolution, help governments and humanitarian agencies prepare for and manage disasters to save lives and generate environmental impact assessments for large industries.

Click here to learn more about how geospatial data helps fight climate change.

Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  SatelliteSolar PanelsLaunchGround


  • Country: Netherlands
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GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013