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Next-generation satellites undergo tests at the Airbus Defence and Space cleanroom in Toulouse, France

By Eric Van Rees - 21st November 2023 - 08:04

Journalists were given an up-close view of two very special spacecraft that will soon empower weather services in Europe with more and higher quality data for weather forecasting.

Metop Second Generation A1 and B1 (Metop-SGA1 and Metop-SGB1) are the first pair of a total of six satellites in the EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation (EPS-SG) system.

The first two satellites are undergoing testing and integration of their instruments at the Airbus Defence and Space cleanroom in Toulouse, France. It is anticipated they will be launched in 2025-2026 into their low-Earth, polar orbit, at about 835km altitude.

“The multi-billion euro EPS-SG system will be the main source of data for complex computer modelling used for advanced weather forecasting from 12 hours to 10 days ahead,” EUMETSAT’s EPS-SG Programme Manager Fran Martinez Fadrique said.

“Its new and next-generation instruments will provide more and better data for weather and climate services in Europe until at least the mid-2040s. Studies show they will generate an estimated socio-economic return of 20:1 on our member states’ investment through significantly improved weather predictions.”

The data from the first-generation Metop satellites have been the single biggest contributor to accuracy of weather forecasts 12 hours to 10 days in advance. The second-generation Metop satellites will provide more, and higher resolution, data, EUMETSAT’s EPS-SG Programme Scientist Dr Rosemary Munro said

“This system, together with the third generation of our geostationary Meteosat satellites, the first of which was launched less than a year ago, will enable a new era of weather forecasting in Europe,” Munro said.

Read More: Data Capture Aerospace Environmental

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