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Metop Second Generation

Image of Metop Second Generation satellites
Metop Second Generation satellites

The Metop Second Generation (Metop-SG) follow-on system will provide continuity of observations to the future Joint Polar System (JPS), which is a follow on from the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS). The Metop Second Generation series of satellites will provide continuity and enhancement of the observations in the time-frame 2024 to 2044.

In 2015, NOAA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) signed the agreement calling for NOAA and EUMETSAT to establish and operate a JPS composed of Metop Second Generation satellites, NOAA’s JPSS satellites, and shared ground systems and services, which will include cross support for data acquisition and spacecraft monitoring through European and US ground stations.

The Metop Second Generation system consists of two, parallel series of satellites (Metop-SG A and Metop-SG B), which will be part of the NOAA/EUMETSAT JPS service in the mid-morning orbit. The plan is for a series of three satellites of each type and a constellation deployment scenario allowing parallel operations of multiple satellites. The Metop-SG A series will focus on improving atmospheric observations and will consist of missions that provide optical imaging, infrared and microwave sounding; aerosol imaging, and radio occultation missions. It also hosts the Copernicus Sentinel-5 mission. The Metop-SG B series will benefit ocean and sea ice science, continue Data Collection Services, and supplement atmospheric soundings via radio occultation. Metop-SG B series does this through to microwave and sub-millimetre-wave imaging, scatterometry and will also host the ARGOS data collection system.

Image of METOP-SG
Schematic diagram showing the various instruments deployed on MetOp-SG A and MetOp-SG B satellites.

Instruments on Metop Second Generation

Metop Second Generation will include the following suite of instruments:

  • Infrared atmospheric sounding interferometer (IASI)
  • Visible/infrared imager (METimage)
  • Microwave sounder (MWS)
  • Radio occultation (RO)
  • Multi-viewing channel
  • Multi-polarisation imager (3MI)
  • Sentinel-5
  • Scatterometer (SCA)
  • Microwave imager (MWI)
  • Ice cloud imager (ICI)
  • Advanced data collection system (ADCS-4)


The Office of Projects Planning and Analysis (OPPA) has the overall management responsibility for the development and implementation of the new Metop Second Generation Product Processing and Archive (Metop-SG PPA) Project for NOAA, which aims to exploit the enhanced products made possible from the next-generation sensors on Metop-SG. The Project will provide continuity of polar orbiting products to the U.S. user community from the mid-morning orbit and plans to be ready to disseminate data as soon as the Metop-SG products are ready for distribution. OPPA initiated the Metop-SG PPA Project in October 2018. Since then, the Project has completed the formulation and early preliminary design phases, including collaboration with NWS colleagues, other NESDIS offices, and EUMETSAT on ground system and science algorithm developments.

OPPA will transfer its management responsibilities to the Office of Satellite Ground Systems (OSGS) once the FY2022 Federal Budget is enacted. OSGS will be responsible for operationalization of Metop-SG ground system capabilities in the current on-premise systems and in the NESDIS Common Cloud Framework.


For more information on the NOAA JPSS satellites, visit the JPSS website.

For more information on the EUMETSAT Polar System-Second Generation, visit the Eumetsat website.