KONGSBERG signs contracts for delivery to next generation European weather satellites

metop second gen ESA

KONGSBERG has signed two contracts with a total value of EUR 23.6 million with Airbus Defence and Space for delivery of a KA band Antenna Pointing System and Solar Array Drive Assembly for the next generation European weather satellite program MetOp-Second Generation (MetOp-SG), a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and EUMETSAT.

– Signing the MetOp-SG contract with Airbus Defence and Space represents a break-through for KONGSBERG Space and the new state-of-the-art Antenna Pointing System. KONGSBERG made a strategic choice more than four years ago to develop and qualify this product, and the first target was the MetOp-SG programme. This represents an important reference contract, says Christian Hauglie-Hanssen, Executive Vice President KONGSBERG Space and Surveillance.

– The support from the Norwegian Space Centre and ESA has played an important role in reaching this milestone, says Hauglie-Hanssen.

The Antenna Pointing System is a mechanical system used to point a satellite antenna dish towards a ground station and transfer information from the satellite to the ground station. The Solar Array Drive Assembly is a mechanical system that connects the solar panels to the satellite, rotates the panels towards the sun, and transfers electrical power from the panels to the satellite’s power system.

Six satellites in total
The MetOp-SG-programme consists of two satellite configurations, with three satellites in each configuration. The programme is designed to provide continuity and enhancement of the first generation European, polar-orbiting, Meteorological Operational series of MetOp satellites. The first generation MetOp system will be operational until the early 2020’s, by which time the first MetOp-SG satellites will be deployed to ensure continuity for a minimum of 21 years of operational service.

The MetOp-SG satellites are being developed under the responsibility of ESA and will be operated by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the programme end-user. Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor, and is responsible for building and delivering the six satellites.

Broad range of deliveries to MetOp
KONGSBERG has extensive involvement in several areas of the MetOp-SG programme, including development and production of satellite components, back-end electronics for the satellites’ payload and download of the meteorological data.

– KONGSBERG’s deliveries include a broad range of products, and we are proud to be trusted with both development, delivery and operation in this programme, says Hauglie-Hanssen.

Source / Author: KONGSBERG
Photo: ESA