Metop Design

The Metop satellites carry a set of state-of-the-art sounding and imaging instruments that offer improved remote sensing capabilities to both meteorologists and climatologists.

Metop satellite with instruments

The Metop satellites carry a set of state-of-the-art sounding and imaging instruments that offer improved remote sensing capabilities to both meteorologists and climatologists. The Metop series is part of the Initial Joint Polar-Orbiting Operational Satellite System (IJPS) constellation, along with the NOAA-N and -N' satellites. Under the Initial Joint Polar System Agreement, EUMETSAT and the NOAA have agreed to provide instruments for each other's satellites. Other partners are European Space Agency and the CNES.

EUMETSAT and NOAA operate and control their respective polar orbiting satellites and ground segments, but data collected by all the satellites are shared and exchanged between NOAA and EUMETSAT.

The Metop satellites carry a payload of eight instruments for observing the planet, together with a range of communications and support services. A core set of instruments for atmospheric sounding and Earth imaging is identical to those flown on the NOAA satellites.

Technical details

See the Animation on Metop instruments

Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI)

Infrared Michelson Interferometer for temperature sounding, water vapour, and ozone monitoring. IASI covers the spectral range from 3.62-15.5 µm, 2112 km swath width and a resolution of 12 km at nadir. IASI page

Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2)

Nadir viewing UV and visible spectrometer to measure radiation back-scattered from the atmosphere and reflected from the earth surface in the UV and visible range 240-790 nm with a spectral resolution of 0.2-0.4 nm. GOME-2 page

Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer/3 (AVHRR)

Visible/infrared imaging radiometer for global measurement of cloud cover, sea surface temperature, ice, snow and vegetation cover and characteristics, six channels. AVHRR page

Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT)

Pulsed radar in C-band at 5.2555 GHz for global sea surface wind vector measurement. ASCAT has two 500 km wide swaths with spatial resolution <50 km. ASCAT page

Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding (GRAS)

Radio occultation receiver for atmosphere sounding of temperature and humidity profiles. GRAS page

High resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder/4 (HIRS)

Atmospheric Sounder for temperature and humidity profiles, surface temperature, cloud parameters and total ozone, 19 infrared channels (3.8-15µm), one visible channel. HIRS page

Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit A1 and A2 (AMSU-A)

Microwave sounder for temperature sounding under clear and overcast conditions, 15 channels in the 23 to 90 GHz frequency range. AMSU-A page

Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS)

MHS is a self-calibrating, cross-track scanning, five-channel microwave, full-power radiometer operating in the 89 to 190 GHz range to provide information on atmospheric water vapour. MHS page

Advanced Data Collection System/2 (A-DCS)

UHF receiver (401.65 MHz) and signal processor for locating and/or collecting meteorological data from remote fixed and free floating terrestrial and atmospheric platforms. A-DCS page

Search and Rescue Satellite (SARSAT) aided Tracking System

VHF/UHF transponder and signal processor for locating and collecting information from remote distress platforms such as Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs). Search & Rescue page

Space Environment Monitor (SEM)

VHF/UHF transponder and signal processor for locating and collecting information from remote distress platforms such as Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs). SEM page

Metop Technical details

Metop spacecraft technical details
Cycle Orbit length Repeat cycle Mass in Orbit Payload mass Resolution Power
12 hours 101 minutes 29 days 4,085 kg 931 kg 1 km recorded Global AVHRR
1 km recorded Regional AVHRR
1 km direct broadcast AHRPT
1812 W average power consumption