BackForward Satellite Programme: Meteosat First Generation 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of seven operational meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit, articulated in three steps:
    • the Meteosat Pre-operational series (Meteosat 1 to 3)
    • the Meteosat Operational Programme (MOP) (Meteosat 4 to 6), with minor improvements, mainly at system level (satellite architecture and in-orbit redundancy)
    • the Meteosat Transition Programme (MTP) (Meteosat-7), to bridge MOP to the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG).
  • European programme: ESA responsible of the development of the space segment and, in the Pre-operational phase, of the operations; EUMETSAT, starting with MOP, responsible of the mission requirements definition, the development of the ground segment and the full system operation.
  • The platform is inertially stabilised by spin.
  • The design life time of the satellites is 5 years (3 years in the Pre-operational phase).
  • The replacement policy, starting with MOP, is based on one operational satellite at 0° longitude and a hot standby in a close position.
  • Possible spare satellites are used for contingency purposes (Atlantic Data Coverage or Indian Ocean Data Coverage).
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • PGS (Primary Ground Station) to acquire all data, pre-process and re-broadcast within tenths of minutes.
  • HRIDS (High Resolution Image Dissemination Service) for full-resolution image dissemination in near-real time.
  • WEFAX (Weather Facsimile) for broadcasting of image frames.
  • DCS (Data Collection System) to relay messages from self-timed Data Collection Platforms (DCP).
  • MDD (Meteorological Data Distribution), starting with MOP, to relay processed data generated at European meteorological centres (up to four).
Programme lifetime 1977 - 2017
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned