Goodbye* to Metop-A

November 15th, 2021 |
ASCAT data from Metop-A, ascending passes, 15 November 2021 (Click to enlarge)

The polar orbiting satellite Metop-A was switched off on 15 November 2021, ending a very long career gathering information (the satellite was launched in 2006). The final ASCAT (ascending) imagery from Metop-A, from this site, is shown above (click here to see the descending data from that day). ASCAT scatterometery from satellites operated by EUMETSAT will now be limited to Metop-B and Metop-C (Click here for more information on Metop-A in the near future; click here for information on Metop satellites). ASCAT data is obviously important for defining wind features over the open ocean, where conventional data is sparse.

The loss of Metop-A ASCAT data means a 50% reduction in the scatterometery data assimilated into US Numerical models. Only Metop-B ASCAT data are now assimilated; work continues on incorporating Metop-C ASCAT data into assimilation schemes.

Metop-A also carried AVHRR, IASI, HIRS, AMSU and MHS instruments. Metop-C is Metop-A’s replacement.


*Metop-A does continue to supply some (non-ASCAT) information to NESDIS (my thanks to Liam Gumley, SSEC, for this information!) as shown at this website. Not all instruments have (as yet) been switched off.

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