EUMETSAT takes ownership of two MTG ground stations after successful acceptance review

The two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) mission data acquisition (MDA) ground stations developed under a EUMETSAT contract by a European consortium led by Telespazio passed their Preliminary Acceptance Review on 30 November, after a comprehensive validation test campaign.

Friday, 15 December 2017

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The stations form part of the ground segment of MTG, the most complex and innovative meteorological geostationary system ever built.

Deployed on both sides of the Alps, in Lario, Italy, and Leuk, Switzerland, the stations constitute the MTG Mission Data Acquisition Facility (MDAF).

Each station features two 6.5 metre antennas to simultaneously receive data from two MTG satellites, a monitoring and control system allowing remote control from EUMETSAT and all networks and tools required for operations.

Contrary to the ground stations of the current EUMETSAT satellite systems, the MTG MDA stations use a new high capacity Ka-Band technology to acquire the much higher volumes of data sent to the ground every couple of minutes by a fleet of up to three MTG imaging and sounding satellites.

Each station then decrypts the acquired data and routes them via dedicated, highly reliable optical fibre connections to EUMETSAT’s headquarters in Darmstadt, where they will be processed in real time.

The MDAF is the first facility of the MTG ground segment to be accepted by EUMETSAT, which constitutes a major milestone in the ground segment development.

Alexander Schmid, MTG Programme Manager, said: “This review marks the successful completion of the development of a complex facility and the transfer of its ownership to EUMETSAT. This is undoubtedly a major achievement of our MTG ground segment development programme.”

The next facility to be accepted, in Spring 2018, is a set of two Telemetry, Tracking and Command ground stations deployed in Fucino, Italy, and Cheia, Romania.


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat -9, -10 and -11 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-8 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason-2, Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and climate change.

The European Union has entrusted EUMETSAT with exploiting the four Sentinel missions of the Copernicus space component dedicated to the monitoring of atmosphere, ocean and climate on its behalf. EUMETSAT will carry out these tasks in cooperation with ESA.

EUMETSAT has established cooperation with operators of Earth Observation satellites from Europe and China, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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