BackForward Satellite: Metop-A 

Satellite details
Acronym Metop-A
Full name Meteorological operational satellite - A
WIGOS Station Identifier ---
Satellite Description
  • 1st flight unit of the EPS programme.
  • Main mission: operational meteorology.
  • Substantial contribution to ocean and ice monitoring, climate monitoring, atmospheric chemistry, and space weather.
Mass at launch 4085 kg Dry mass 3769 kg
Power 1810 W
Data access link
Data access information
  • Direct Broadcast (AHRPT): Real-time availability of AMSU-A, ASCAT. AVHRR, GOME-2, GRAS, HIRS/4, IASI, MHS, DCP messages and SEM/2 (MEDEP + TED). LRPT not available.
  • Near-real-time availability of extended-area coverage data by EARS. Near-real time availability of Level 1 data by EUMETCast.
  • Alert messages of S&RSAT to LUT in real time.
Orbit Sunsynchronous orbit Altitude 827 km
ECT 07:50 desc


Space agency EUMETSATESA
Status Inactive
Details on Status
(as available)
  • LRPT failed soon after launch, one AHRPT transmitter failed 6 months later.
  • Global data disseminated by EUMETCast became the primary dissemination system.
  • As of Sept 2008 the redundant AHRPT unit is utilised for a partial coverage, enabling the reception and retransmission of NRT data by EARS.
  • Operating as back-up / secondary in parallel with Metop-B since 24 April 2013.
  • For lifetime extension active orbit control has been suspended.
  • Officially retired on 15 November 2021.
  • Planned to be de-orbited in December 2021.
Launch 19 Oct 2006 EOL 15 Nov 2021
Last update: 2024-04-15
Associated satellite programme and related satellites

Note: red tag: no longer operational , green tag: operational , blue tag : future

Satellite Payload

All known Instruments flying on Metop-A

Acronym Full name
A-DCS Advanced Data Collection System (also called "Argos-3")
AMSU-A Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit - A
ASCAT Advanced Scatterometer
AVHRR/3 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer / 3
GOME-2 Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment - 2
GRAS GNSS Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding
HIRS/4 High-resolution Infra Red Sounder / 4
IASI Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer
MHS Microwave Humidity Sounding
S&RSAT Search & Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System
SEM/TED SEM / Total Energy Detector
SEM/MEPED SEM / Medium energy proton detector
Show instrument status and calibration
Satellite frequencies for Earth Observation, data transfer and platform communications and control
Frequencies for satellite management
Service Direction Frequency (MHz) Emission designator Bandwidth (kHz) Polarisation D/A Data rate (kbps) or Baseband (kHz) Comments
S & RSAT E-S 406.05 MHz 100KG1D 100 kHz linear D 2.4  kbps Distress messages - beacon bandwidth: 3 kHz
S & RSAT S-E 1544.5 MHz 200KG1D 200 kHz linear D 2.4  kbps Distress messages to LUT
TC & Ranging E-S 2053.4583 MHz 1M50G1D 1500 kHz RHCP D 2  kbps Telecommand and ranging
TM S-E 2230 MHz 2M00G1D 2000 kHz RHCP D 4.096  kbps Telemetry
Earth observation MW frequencies
Service Sensing mode Frequency (GHz) Bandwidth (MHz) Polarisation Comments
AMSU-A passive 23.8 GHz 270 MHz V Water vapour channel
AMSU-A passive 31.4 GHz 180 MHz V Window channel
AMSU-A passive 50 GHz - 57.62 GHz 0 MHz H or V Oxygen band, 12 channels
AMSU-A passive 89 GHz 6000 MHz V Window channel
MHS passive 89 GHz 2800 MHz V Window channel
MHS passive 157 GHz 2800 MHz V Weak water vapour channel
MHS passive 179 GHz - 191.31 GHz 0 MHz H or V Water vapour band, 3 channels
ASCAT active 5.255 GHz 1 MHz - C-band scatterometer
Frequencies for scientific data acquisition and communication services at ground stations
Service Direction Frequency (MHz) Bandwidth (kHz) Polarisation D/A Data rate (kbps) or Baseband (kHz) Comments
GDS S-E 7800 MHz 63000 kHz RHCP D 70000  kbps Raw data
AHRPT S-E 1701.3 MHz 4500 kHz RHCP D 3500  kbps High resolution data - not in use
AHRPT S-E 1707 MHz 4500 kHz RHCP D 3500  kbps High resolution data - used part time
LRPT S-E 137.1 MHz 150 kHz RHCP D 72  kbps Selected data - not in use
LRPT S-E 137.9125 MHz 150 kHz RHCP D 72  kbps Selected data - backup, not in use
ADCS E-S 401.585 MHz 10 kHz RHCP D 0.4/4.8  kbps DCP reports
ADCS S-E 465.9875 MHz 1 kHz RHCP D 0.2/0.4  kbps DCP configuration control