Press Release

Airbus Defence and Space Signs Microwave Sounder Contract

By SpaceRef Editor
December 12, 2014
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Airbus Defence and Space has signed a contract to build three MicroWave Sounder (MWS) instruments for the MetOp Second Generation series of satellites (MetOp-SG).

The contract for the MWS instruments, worth up to €155.5 million, has been awarded to Airbus in the UK and the satellites will be operated by EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

The MWS instrument is the follow on to the highly successful MicroWave Humidity Sounder (MHS), also primed from Airbus in Portsmouth and currently flying on the first generation MetOp missions. The new generation of instruments will provide a much higher level of performance over a greater spectral range. The instrument delivers atmospheric temperature and water vapour information for use in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models enabling short term weather forecasts to be made with greater accuracy.

Three MWS instruments will be built, each with a mission life of 7.5 years, one instrument will fly on each of the MetOp-SG A satellites ensuring accurate forecasting data until 2040 and beyond. The first MetOp-SG satellite is due to be launched in 2021. The team at Airbus in Portsmouth will develop the MWS instruments together with 20 major sub-contractors across UK and Europe.

SpaceRef staff editor.