Metop will be the next contribution to European meteorological satellite systems. This joint ESA-Eumetsat project is to provide medium term weather forecasting and help in carrying out long term climate and environmental studies.
The three Metop satellites of an overall weight of 4.5 tonnes each, are being launched at 5-year intervals, the first having been in 2006 from Baikonur. The operational period of the mission is 14 years, each satellite having a 5 year service life.
The meteorological data is sent to receiving stations once per orbit and are processed and distributed to the users. In this way overall coverage is achieved every one to three days. Direct data distribution is also possible. The satellite's design is based on an adapted version of the Envisat polar platform.
IASI is one of the instruments on board the MetOp satellite.