More accurate, more long-term weather forecasts
Lift-off of MetOp-B from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kasakhstan on September 17, 2012 . (© 2012 EUMETSAT).
The European weather satellite MetOp-B (MetOp = Meteorological Operational Satellite) is the successor to MetOp-A, which was launched in 2006 and is now approaching the end of its planned lifetime. At around the end of 2017, MetOp-B will in turn be replaced by MetOp-C, the third satellite in the MetOp program, which will be in service until 2020.
One of the vital instruments on board the MetOp satellites is the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI). The IASI is a measurement instrument that provides very precise, vertically resolved data on the constituents of the atmosphere. One of its main components is a mirror that moves periodically, generating an interference pattern from which a large volume of atmospheric data can be derived. The mirror's control system was developed with the aid of a dSPACE system consisting of a DS1005 PPC board and other components. Precision was one vital requirement for the mirror control system, and absolute reliability was another, because if a fault occurs in orbit, it is not possible to repair it.
dSPACE article on MetOp from dSPACE NEWS 2/2007:
Video of the launch: