EUMETSAT SATELLITE APPLICATION FACILITY ON OZONE AND ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY MONITORING
On 17 September 2012 at 16:28 UTC, Metop-B was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz 2.1a rocket.
Metop-B’s role is to ensure continuity of observations from polar orbit which are vital to Numerical Weather Prediction – the basis of modern weather forecasting - as well as climate and environmental monitoring. This service is currently provided by the first satellite in the series, Metop-A (launched 19 October 2006), which has exceeded its nominal lifetime.
Launch of Metop-B from Baikonut Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan
The value of Metop data for weather forecasting is illustrated by recent studies of the impact of various data sources (in situ, airborne and space-based) on the performance of 24-hour forecasts, in which Metop-A accounts for the highest level of contribution at 25%. Focusing on the contribution of data from individual satellites, Metop-A’s contribution is nearly 40%, which is more than double the contribution of a polar orbiting satellite of the previous generation.
The polar orbiting Metop satellites together with the geostationary Meteosats form the two pillars of Europe’s system of operational meteorological satellites.