BackForward Satellite Programme: EUMETSAT Polar System 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of three operational meteorological satellites, named MetOp, in sunsynchronous orbit.
  • European programme: ESA responsible of the development of the space segment, EUMETSAT responsible of mission requirements definition, development of the ground segment and full system operation.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time of the satellites was extended from 5 years to 6 years.
  • The replacement policy is based on launching satellites in sequence, roughly 6 months before the expected end-of-life of a satellite.
  • The satellites exploit sunsynchronous orbits at 09:30.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • CDA (Command & Data Acquisition station) to acquire the stored Global Data Stream (GDS) that collects all instrument data.
  • ADA (Antarctic Data Acquisition) additional station to acquire stored GDS at an opposite latitude to the CDA in order to reduce on-board data storage and improve timeliness.
  • AHRPT (Advanced High Resolution Picture Transmission) for real-time broadcasting of all instrument data in digital form.
  • LRPT (Low Resolution Picture Transmission) for real-time broadcasting of selected data.
  • A-DCS (Advanced Data Collection Service, also called Argos-3) to localise DCP (Data Collection Platform) and relay their messages, with possibility of sending commands to the DCP.
  • S&RSAT (Search & Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System) to relay emergency signals to Local User Terminals (LUT).
  • EUMETCast [not exclusively dedicated to EPS] multi-mission DVB retransmission service by telecommunication satellite.
  • EARS (EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service) [not exclusively dedicated to EPS] acquisition of regional data by a network of direct read-out stations, for near-real time retransmission by various means.
  • EUMETSAT Data Centre in Darmstadt for differed-time data and products.
Programme lifetime 2006 - 2027
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned