Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for the Metop (Meteorological Operational Polar) series of metrological satellites and also built the SEVIRI instrument flying on the spacecraft.?
Accurate numerical weather models are needed to help predict the changing climate, and the Metop programme – a collaboration between the European-based EUMETSAT satellite agency, the European Space Agency (ESA), France’s CNES space agency, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – has improved the accuracy of weather forecasting, including extending short-term forecasts by one day.?
While the original plan was for each satellite to replace its predecessor, the excellent performance of the first two Metop satellites allows them to operate simultaneously, increasing the amount of meteorological data collected. The launch of Metop-C (and subsequently, the new-generation Metop-SG spacecraft), will further improve the quality of observations and weather forecast data.