Mission Control

The EUMETSAT Mission Control Centres (MCC), based at our headquarters are responsible for the safe operations of all satellites.

Comprised of two main control rooms, one for the geostationary missions and the other for the low Earth orbit missions, it provides the necessary monitoring and control of all operational satellites and the associated ground infrastructure.

It also ensures the continued communication with, and data acquisition from, satellites though a network of primary and back-up ground stations distributed across Europe. Teams of satellite and ground segment controllers work around the clock, supported by teams of on-call operators and maintenance engineers.

Control Centres functions and stations

Geostationary Mission Control

  1. Function
    • Performs spacecraft monitoring and control for:
      Meteosat First Generation (MFG) Indian Ocean Data Coverage Service.
      Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Prime 0º and Rapid Scanning Service.
    • Ground segment monitoring and control service monitoring.
  2. Primary Ground Stations
    • Meteosat First Generation — Fucino, Italy
    • Meteosat Second Generation — Usingen, Germany

Information on the Meteosat Third Generation Ground Segment is in the Future satellites section.

Low Earth Orbit Mission Control

  1. Functions
    • Performs spacecraft monitoring and control:
      Metop-A and Metop-B services
    • Support to the other satellite operations:
      Blind orbit support for NOAA-19
      Jason-2 Earth Terminal.
    • Ground segment monitoring and control service monitoring.
  2. Primary Ground Stations
    • Metop — Spitsbergen, Svalbard
    • Jason-2 — Earth Terminal, Usingen, Germany

Spacecraft Commanding and Control

Control Room 2

Spacecraft commanding is highly automated. Each satellite system uses a mission planning system, in conjunction with a flight dynamics system, to produce a weekly automated schedule.

This schedule is used to send automated procedures to both the spacecraft and the ground facilities.

Verification of successful completion of the procedures comes back to the monitoring and control system in the spacecraft and ground facility telemetry. The health of the spacecraft is also monitored by the same system.

Monitoring Scientific Telemetry and Data Processing

The scientific satellite data acquired by the instruments, on-board the operational satellites, are received by the dedicated ground stations and relayed to EUMETSAT headquarters for processing in the EUMETSAT-based Application Ground Segment and the distributed network of Satellite Application Facilities (SAFs) within Europe.

The MCC performs the end-to-end analysis of the service performance, including the ground stations, and; the Central Facility data processing facilities, and the data dissemination systems, e.g. EUMETCast and AHRPT. Scheduled and unplanned outages, arising as a result of malfunction of these systems, are notified to the user via the User Notification Service.

Back-up Control Centre

Each satellite mission has a back-up control centre to ensure spacecraft safety in the event of major problem with the MCC, or communication loss between the MCC and the ground station. Activation exercises take place regularly to ensure operational readiness.

The back-up centres are: