April 5, 2012
Solar array added to Metop-B
The solar array has been added to Metop-B and has successfully passed performance tests.
After its successful integration on the satellite, the solar array was tested via a mini deployment test to confirm that it was fully functional. This test was be carried out in Baikonour by the launch campaign team (Astrium, Dutch Space, ESA/EUMETSAT) with the ESOC and EUMETSAT control centres "listening-in' from Darmstadt.
In parallel, the multilayer insulation was applied to the satellite and by the end of the week Metop-B was near to its launch configuration.
Metop-B is due to be launched, on 23 May, on a Soyuz rocket with a Fregat upper stage.
Metop-B will join Metop-A to continue the service, provided since 15 May 2007, for at least another five years. This service delivers critical input data to the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, which underpin the work of the National Meteorological Services. It is also vital to nowcasting of high impact weather at higher latitudes and for climate monitoring applications.