LEO > Low Earth Orbit > Polar Sun-Synchronous
The MetOp-A satellite, developed by a consortium of European companies led by
the main contractor EADS-Astrium, France, builds on the heritage gained from a
successful series of European satellites, ... including the French Space Agency's
(CNES) SPOT and ESA'S ERS and Envisat.
The satellite consists of a Solar Array and two modules: the Payload Module
(PLM) and the Service Module (SVM). The PLM accommodates the whole suite of
instruments and associated support equipment. It includes advanced versions of
the widely used scatterometer and ozone-monitoring instruments already flying
onboard the ERS-2 satellite. The SVM, which interfaces with the launcher,
provides the main satellite support functions, such as command and control,
communications with the ground, power and orbit control and propulsion.
MetOp-A carries a set of 'heritage' instruments, provided by the United States
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the French Space
Agency (CNES), and a new generation of European instruments offering precise
sensing capabilities to both meteorologists and climatologists.
[Summary from the ESA MetOp Meteorological Missions home page]