Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Meteosat Third Generation
Kayser-Threde, OHB-System AG and Thales Alenia Space* (*) lead contractor
Parent System: MTG
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2017
Total Production: 6
Total Cost: EUR€1.3 billion (USD$1.4 billion)
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Description: The European Space Agency (ESA) Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) is the follow-on to Meteosat weather forecast satellite constellation planned for launch by 2017 and expected to remain in service until 2037. The constellation consists of six satellites of which four are imaging satellites and the remaining two are sounders satellites. The imaging satellites are responsible for imaging and lightning detection mission. The sounders satellites are fitted with infrared and ultraviolet capabilities for both climate and meteorological applications. In November 2010, ESA and the European meteorological organization Eumetsat awarded Thales Alenia Space, as the prime contractor, and OHB-System a 1.3 billion Euro contract for the development and put into orbit of the MTG system.
The launch of the first MTG imaging spacecraft is planned for 2017 marking the beginning of the in-orbit lifetime of the imagery mission. The first MTG sounding spacecraft is planned for 2019 improving significantly the operational services delivered to the final users. The sounding spacecraft will provide unprecedented information on water vapor and temperature profiling. It will also embark the Ultraviolet, Visible and Near-Infrared Sentinel-4 instrument covering Europe and providing atmospheric chemistry and air quality information contributing to the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative. Thales Alenia Space is in charge of the imaging satellites and OHB-System of the sounding satellites while Kayser-Threde provides the atmospheric sounders instrument. OHB-System will also develop the six satellites' 3-axis stabilized common platform.
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