The platform had also participated in the System Validation Test (SVT) where it was successfully commanded from both Telespazio (demonstrating the nominal Launch and Early Orbit phase sequence) and Eumetsat, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, (for routine operations).
ESA’s Meteosat Programme Manager, Paul Blythe, commented, “It is very pleasing to see the significant progress that has been made over the last couple of years, despite the many technical and programmatic challenges encountered. Both the industrial consortium and ESA teams should be very proud of what has been achieved particularly when considering the unprecedented constraints brought by the Covid crisis.
“The performance results recently measured for the protoflight Flexible Combined Imager are truly impressive and reaffirm the world class capabilities that the European industry has to offer. I very much look forward to the launch of the MTG-I1 satellite at the end of next year, which will begin the deployment of the ‘Third Generation’ of geostationary meteorological observing capabilities.”
The MTG-I1 satellite will be the first of six satellites being developed in the frame of the MTG contract, from which four ‘Imager’ satellites (MTG-I) and two ‘Sounder’ satellites (MTG-S) are being procured.
The first MTG-S satellite is also progressing well and is on track for launch readiness towards the end of 2023. Developed by OHB, the Infrared Sounder is under final assembly in Munich, and is scheduled for instrument mechanical testing towards the end of this year.
MTG is a cooperation between ESA and Eumetsat. ESA is responsible for the definition and implementation of the MTG satellites and procurement of recurrent hardware, while Eumetsat is in charge of operating the spacecraft throughout its lifetime. The MTG satellites will replace the current Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) operational system for which the first of four satellites were launched in 2002, and the last in 2015.