EPS A Spot

Plans for Metop-A end of life


EPS A Spot
EPS A Spot

The deorbiting of Metop-A started in November 2021.

Last Updated

15 November 2021

Published on

15 November 2021

The Metop-A satellite, launched on 19 October 2006, exceeded its design lifetime of five years. However, because thermal constraints imposed by Metop-A drift made it difficult to guarantee the safety of the spacecraft in the winter of 2021-2022, EUMETSAT opted to deorbit Metop-A in November/December 2021. 

Metop-A End of Life timeline*

  • 15 October 2021:
    • IASI end of all mission services (Global, Regional and Local) - IASI data and products no longer available for the user community.
    • End of regional mission (EARS) for all instruments.
  • 11 November 2021: End of Search & Rescue mission.
  • 15 November 2021:
    • End of local mission for all instruments (HRPT switched off).
    • End of global mission for ALL remaining instruments — Metop-A data and products no longer available for the user community.
    • Metop-A de-orbiting started.
  • 27 November 2021: Metop-A payload module is switched off.
  • 1 December 2021: Metop-A deorbiting is completed.

*Note: steps in italics have already been completed.

An early end-of-mission was conducted for the IASI instrument due to the execution of technology tests associated with Metop-A End of Life. Campaign IV, the last campaign of these technology tests, aims at identifying new ways to improve Metop operations and products, in order for EUMETSAT teams to acquire important knowledge about the behaviour of the instruments and unique datasets useful for the preparation of the MTG and EPS-SG missions. As part of this campaign, (begun on 15 October 2021), a number of tests on the IASI instrument were carried out, resulting in a degradation of data quality, and so the decision was made to stop IASI data dissemination on that date.

Due to operational reasons, the regional mission from the EARS network of stations was stopped for all Metop-A instruments at the same time.

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