Telespazio will support Eumetsat for the launch and early orbit phase of the third generation Meteosat satellites

Rome  13 January 2016 14:25

Telespazio (Finmeccanica 67%, Thales 33%) won at the end of 2015 the EUMETSAT tender for the supply of launch and early orbit phase services (LEOP) for two satellites, with an option for a third, of the new constellation Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), which will provide high resolution observations for meteorology and will support scientific research on climate change.

Telespazio will lead an industrial team that includes the participation, among others, of Thales Alenia Space France, prime contractor for the production of the MTG programme's satellites.

Telespazio's Fucino Space Centre will be responsible for the preparation and execution of the satellite flight operations, the development of the LEOP control centre, the flight dynamics software and the preparation, validation and operational coordination of a network of six ground S-band stations.

Meteosat Third Generation will comprise two separate lines of imaging and sounding satellites and will operate in the 2020-2040 timeframe, supporting nowcasting and very short-range forecasting of high impact weather over Europe and Africa. The imaging satellites will include a new on board Lightning Imager, a sensor created by Finmeccanica’s Airborne & Space Systems Division (operational as of January 1st as part of the Finmeccanica Group’s departmental reorganisation process) for the Italian Air Force Meteorological Service.

In 2014, EUMETSAT awarded two contracts to Telespazio as part of the MTG programme. The first was for the design, implementation, and maintenance of the Ka-band mission data receiving stations, namely the "Mission Data Acquisition Facility" (MDAF), to be installed at the Lario teleport (Como) and the Leuk teleport (Switzerland) operated by Signalhorn. The second was for the development, supply, and maintenance of the telemetry and command stations, "Telemetry, Tracking and Command" (TTC) in S-band, to be installed at the Fucino Space Centre and the Cheia teleport (Romania).

The total value of the contracts awarded to Telespazio in 2014 and 2015 is 29 million euros.

The significant presence of Telespazio in the MTG programme represents a major strategic milestone that allows the continuation and reinforcement of a long-standing collaboration with EUMETSAT in ground segment engineering and satellite operations.