MetOp Second Generation (MetOp-SG) will replace the current MetOp system in the 2019-2020 timeframe. ESA, together with Eumetsat, started the phase A/B1 studies of the Eumetsat Polar System - Second Generation (EPS-SG) beginning of 2011. Two competing consortia have been selected for the study. The current MetOp-SG system includes a total of 14 instruments, jointly provided by ESA, NOAA, CNES and DLR.
ESA-provided instruments include two millimetre-wave instruments. The microwave Imager (MWI) is a conically scanning microwave radiometer, covering the frequency range from 18 GHz up to 190 GHz with an antenna size below one meter. The Ice Cloud Imager (ICI) is also a conically scanning radiometer, covering frequencies from 175 GHz up to 670 GHz, with an antenna size below 0.5 meter.
Several improvements in performance and reliability of components/subsystems are required by the MWI and ICI and therefore, in addition to the main system/instrument studies, ESA has technology developments running in parallel.
This paper will present the present MetOp-SG system, concentrating on the millimetre-wave instruments currently being studied by ESA (MWI and ICI). The paper will also discuss ESA’s past, on-going and planned technology developments, which are enabling the instruments performance and reliability as required by the users.