Status Report

METOP satellite in test in Toulouse

By SpaceRef Editor
November 24, 2003
Filed under ,

The first flight model of the Metop satellite series built by EADS Astrium for the European Space Agency and Eumetsat, has successfully completed a major test campaign at the Intespace facilities in Toulouse. After the coupling of the two satellites main modules, namely the Payload Module and the Service Module, which were mated for the first time at the end of June, the satellite has been subjected to extensive electromagnetic compatibility testing During this test the mutual compatibility of the core satellite, its associated transmit/receive antennas and the numerous sensitive Metop payload elements has been successfully demonstrated.

The Metop payload comprises 12 instruments, of which 3, ASCAT the advanced scatterometer, GRAS the GNSS receiver for atmospheric sounding and MHS the Microwave Humidity Sounder are provided by EADS Astrium. These instruments are devoted to the main objectives of the satellite mission, which are focused upon operational meteorology and climate monitoring, but also support complementary missions in the area of humanitarian services (Search and Rescue) and space environment monitoring.

The mixture of high power active and sensitive passive instruments, coupled with numerous transmit antennas for data dissemination, results in very challenging payload accommodation considerations. Further a very broad range of sensitive frequencies are involved in the various payload elements, from approx 100 Mhz receive antennas, through microwave temperature and humidity sounding, to visible and ultraviolet for cloud and ice imaging.

Activities are now proceeding to prepare the satellite for the mechanical test campaign to be undertaken in the coming weeks which will demonstrate the satellite can sustain the launch environment associated with both the Soyuz and Ariane 5 . The Metop-FM1 satellite test programme will then be completed with a final verification of the flight software, and associated compatibility with the satellite hardware.

In parallel to the activities performed on the Metop-FM1, work is also progressing on the Payload Module and Service Module of the Metop-FM2, which for programmatic reasons will be the first Metop satellite to fly. As for Metop-FM1, these elements are being built in EADS Astrium sites in Friedrichshafen and Toulouse respectively.

Finally, the third and last Metop flight model is also under construction, with avionics integration having been performed on the Payload Module, which is now awaiting its flight instruments.

The first Metop satellite (Metop-FM2) will be launched in late 2005, using a Soyuz rocket from the BaÔkonur Cosmodrome, Kazahkstan.

EADS Astrium is the leading satellites company in Europe. Its activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth Observation systems, Science and Navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment.
EADS Astrium is wholly owned by EADS SPACE. In 2002 EADS SPACE had a turnover of €2.2 billion and 12.300 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. EADS Astrium’s satellite business activities.

Press contact:
EADS SPACE (FR)†RÈmi ROLAND +33 (0) 1 34 88 35 78
EADS SPACE (UK) Alistair SCOTT +44 (0) 1438 77 3698
EADS SPACE (GER) Mathias PIKELJ +49 (0) 7545 8 91 23

SpaceRef staff editor.