The contract is related to the supply of an optical instrument for the European space programme MetOp – SG
10 November 2014 – Finmeccanica – Selex ES has signed a contract with the world’s second largest space company Airbus Defence and Space for a total value of €65 million for the supply of an innovative high-performance, optical instrument which will be in use within the climate and environmental monitoring MetOp- SG (Meteorological Operational – Second Generation) programme. The instrument will be integrated on-board of the first three out of the six MetOp-SG satellites, which will be made by Airbus Defence and Space, prime contractor of the mission.
Started in 2014, MetOp – SG is a cooperative undertaking between ESA (European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) for climate and environmental monitoring which has the scope of a more and more accurate meteorological forecasting.
The first satellite is due for launch in 2021 and each of the two series of satellites will provide at least 21 years of operational service.
Designed and developed within the Finmeccanica – Selex ES centre of excellence for advanced electro optical technologies for space and land applications of Campi Bisenzio (Florence), the instrument, named 3MI (Multi-viewing, Multi-channel, Multi-polarisation Imager), is a passive visible and short-wave infrared radiometer which also measures polarisation.
The instrument will allow an innovative observation technique, providing an in-depth, remote study of the physical-chemical properties of the atmosphere and clouds, measuring the energy which is irradiated by the atmospheric surface in the surrounding space. Data from the 3MI instrument will also provide improved measurements of the air quality and will contribute to the enhancement of the present capabilities in long-term meteorological forecast.