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Airbus Defense And Space Bids Bon Voyage To MetOp-C

Sends Payload Module Of Europe’s Next Weather Satellite On Its First (Terrestrial) Journey

Airbus Defense and Space has shipped the payload module of Europe's next weather satellite, MetOp-C, to ESA/ESTEC ... the incubator of the European space effort. The incubator is where most ESA projects are born and where they are guided through the various phases of development.

A comprehensive test campaign for the satellite will begin in January, with launch scheduled for October 2018.

MetOp is a series of operational polar-orbiting weather satellites that orbit the Earth at an altitude of around 800 kilometres. The first satellite in the series, MetOp-A, was launched on 19 October 2006 and was followed by MetOp-B on 17 September 2012. Both ‘weatherstations’ have since been operating successfully in space.

MetOp is a real all-rounder. An infrared scanner, for example, provides three-dimensional data on temperatures and humidity in the Earth’s atmosphere with unparalleled accuracy. Approaching storms can therefore be detected several hours in advance. The instrument can also collect data on greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or methane on a total of 8,400 spectral channels. The tasks of MetOp include near-surface wind measurement over the oceans, the observation of sea ice distribution and the monitoring of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. But MetOp also transmits other signals: The satellite receives measurement data from ships, buoys and research stations as well as signals from people in distress.

Within the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), MetOp forms part of the global meteorological satellite network in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which also supplies some of the instruments. The MetOp series satellites have been jointly developed by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and ESA. MetOp is operated by EUMETSAT. The satellites are built under the industrial leadership of Airbus Defense and Space.

(Image provided with Airbus news release)

FMI: www.airbus.com

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