The MetOp series of satellites is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellites dedicated to operational meteorology.

The equivalent satellites in the USA are launched by NASA and operated by NOAA.

Europe has other polar-orbiting satellites for scientific research, such as EnviSat, as the US has Terra, Aqua and Aura, for example.

Europe also has meteorological satellites in a geostationary orbit called MeteoSat.

European meteorological satellites are launched by ESA and operated by Eumetsat.


The main sensors carried aboard MetOp satellites are:

See the Eumetsat and ESA web sites for full details.


MetOp data is transmitted in real-time to ground stations, for regional use. Some stations receive their data and forward it to Eumetsat for their EARS network. The satellite also transmits data collected over a whole orbit to a ground station in Arctic Norway. This data is also used in the EARS network. The EARS network processes the data and re-transmits it via Eumetcast which uses satellite-TV technology.

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