Satellite Description

The Sentinel-5 payload instrument is hosted as a Customer Furnished Item (CFI) on the MetOp-SG A satellite (see Figure 1) which is operated in the frame of the EPS-SG programme.

MetOp-SG consists of a pair of low Earth Orbit satellites, MetOp-SG A and MetOp-SG B, based on a common platform design with different sets of instruments (see Table 1). There will be a series of three MetOp-SG A + MetOp-SG B pairs, leading to a total of six satellites. The launch of the first series is expected for 2021 (SG-A) and 2022 (SG-B). The second series will be launched about seven years after the launch of the first series and the third series about seven years after the launch of the second series. The nominal life time of each spacecraft is about 7.5 years with a possible two years extension of life, providing an overall system operational lifetime of over 21 years.

Both types of satellites (A and B) will be designed for launch on a Soyuz-class launcher and to be technically compatible with three potential launch vehicles (Soyuz, Ariane and Falcon 9).

Table 1: Instruments embarked on the MetOp-SG A and MetOp-SG B satellites

MetOp-SG A

MetOp-SG B

MetImage  (Visible/InfraRed Imager) - DLR

MWI (Microwave Imaging Radiometer - ESA

MWS (Microwave Sounder) - ESA

ICI (Ice Cloud Imager) - ESA

IASI-NG (Infrared Atmospheric Sounder
Interferometer-Next Generation) - CNES

SCA (Scatterometer) - ESA

RO (Radio Occultation) - ESA

RO (Radio Occultation) - ESA

3MI (Multi-view Multi-channel Multi-polarization Imager) - ESA

ADCS-4 (Advanced Data Collection Service) - CNES

Sentinel-5  - ESA/Copernicus



The main characteristics of the MetOp-SG A satellite, hosting the Sentinel-5 payload instrument, are presented in Table 2

Table 2: Satellite (MetOp-SG A) Platform Main Characteristics
Characteristic Details


AstroBus L 250 M from Airbus Defence & Space

Attitude control

Nominal mode: yaw steering   - gyroless

Safe mode: three-axis stabilised

Launch mass

 4065 kg. (+ 135 kg launch adaptor)

Stowed dimensions

6.5 (+0.55) x 2.97 x 3.36 meters


3.2 kW (EOL)

Data storage capacity

600 Gbit (sized for 1.5 orbits)

Communication links

Ka-band downlink: 781 Mbit/s (2 channels)

X-band downlink: 80 Mbits/s


7.5 years


Satellite A
Figure 1: Illustration of the MetOp-SG A satellite. Credit: ESA

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