in Space

Airbus DS sends MetOp-C PLM for testing in space conditions

Posted 21 December 2016 · Add Comment

Airbus Defence & Space has sent the MetOp-C payload module (PLM), the 'brain' for Europe's next polar-orbiting weather satellite, for testing in space conditions.


 
Above: Payload module of MetOp-C is being prepared for transport.
Courtesy Airbus DS GmbH / A. Ruttloff


The module, which weighs around 2.1 tonnes, contains 10 measuring instruments together with their control systems. These comprise systems for issuing commands and monitoring instruments, formatting data, encrypting and storing it as well as transmitting it to Earth. 
 
In the coming six months, the PLM will be tested in space conditions at the Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Noordwijk in the Netherlands. There, around 30 employees from the Airbus Defence and Space site in Friedrichshafen will carry out comprehensive functional tests on the PLM of the third and last MetOp satellite of the first generation. The module will then go on a second trip, to the Toulouse Airbus Defence and Space site, where it will join up with the service module (SVM). The service module houses the main computer, power supply, attitude and thermal control systems as well as systems for controlling communications with the ground station. MetOp-C is currently planned to be launched in October 2018.
 
MetOp is a series of operational polar-orbiting weather satellites that orbit the Earth at an altitude of around 800 kilometres. The first satellite in the series, MetOp-A, was launched on 19 October 2006 and was followed by MetOp-B on 17 September 2012. Both ‘weatherstations’ have since been operating successfully in space.
 
MetOp is a real all-rounder. An infrared scanner, for example, provides three-dimensional data on temperatures and humidity in the Earth’s atmosphere with unparalleled accuracy. Approaching storms can therefore be detected several hours in advance. The instrument can also collect data on greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or methane on a total of 8,400 spectral channels. The tasks of MetOp include near-surface wind measurement over the oceans, the observation of sea ice distribution and the monitoring of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. But MetOp also transmits other signals: The satellite receives measurement data from ships, buoys and research stations as well as signals from people in distress.
 
Within the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), MetOp forms part of the global meteorological satellite network in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which also supplies some of the instruments. The MetOp series satellites have been jointly developed by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and ESA. MetOp is operated by EUMETSAT. The satellites are built under the industrial leadership of Airbus Defence and Space.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Azores Airlines takes delivery of its first A321neo

Azores Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft, to become first Portuguese A320neo Family operator.

Serco signs Copernicus data access contract with ESA

Serco's business in Italy has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to deliver a ground-breaking project to facilitate open and unlimited access to earth observation data and geospatial information collected as

All change at the top of Airbus

The Airbus Board of Directors has today announced executive changes as Tom Enders (59) has advised them he won't seek another term as CEO beyond his current mandate (which runs until the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting April 2019)and

ADS highlights industry need for transition agreement in early 2018

ADS said today that although confirmation that talks can start on transition and our future relationship with the EU is welcome progress, industry now needs to see urgent agreement reached on transition arrangements.

Astronaut Tim Peake opens UTC Portsmouth

Two years after blasting off to join the International Space Station, British astronaut Tim Peake formally opened the Roya Navy backed college which will produce the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

CAA launching new airspace change process

In 2015 the CAA started reviewing its airspace change process and after nearly three years of detailed work and two public consultations, it is now launching its new process which will take effect from 2nd January 2018.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
SMI FAVSABT2411120418SMI NCWBT3110020218FIL18 BT111017220718S&P BT281117080318Aviation Africa BT18418