The SENTINEL-5 payload instrument is hosted as a Customer Furnished Item (CFI) on the MetOp-SG A satellite (see Figure 2) 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 2). There will be a series of three MetOp-SG A + MetOp-SG B pairs, leading to a total of 6 satellites. The launch of the first series is expected for 2021 (SG-A) and 2022 (SG-B). The second series will be launched about 7 years after the launch of the first series and the third series about 7 years after the launch of the second series. The nominal life time of each spacecraft is about 7.5 years with a possible 2 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 2: Instruments embarked on the MetOp-SG A and MetOp-SG B satellites.
The main characteristics of the MetOp-SG A satellite, hosting the SENTINEL-5 payload instrument, are presented in Table 3
Table 3: Satellite (MetOp-SG A) Platform Main Characteristics
Figure 2: illustration of the MetOp-SG A satellite (credit: ESA).