The AMSU-A instrument on the METOP-A satellite (launched on 19 October) is providing data that are now processed and monitored by ECMWF.
The METOP-A satellite was launched on 19 October. Data from the AMSU-A instrument was distributed by EUMETSAT from 31 October. Starting from 2nd November, ECMWF is processing and passively monitoring the data that is received.
Data Coverage Plots:
The AMSU-A2 measures scene radiance in the microwave spectrum. The data from this instrument is used in conjunction with the High-resolution Infrared Sounder (HIRS) instrument to calculate the global atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles from the Earth's surface to the upper stratosphere, at approximately 2-millibar pressure altitude (48 km). The data is used to provide precipitation and surface measurements including snow cover, sea-ice concentration and soil moisture. More information on AMSU-A is available from the ESA web site news release (here).
Launched on 19 October 2006, MetOp is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. It represents the European contribution to a new co-operative venture with the United States providing data to monitor climate and improve weather forecasting. MetOp is a series of three satellites to be launched sequentially over 14 years, forming the space segment of EUMETSAT's Polar System (EPS). For more information on METOP-A, see the ESA web site news release (here).