The two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) mission data acquisition (MDA) ground stations, developed under a EUMETSAT contract by a European consortium led by Telespazio, have passed their Preliminary Acceptance Review after a comprehensive validation test campaign.
The stations form part of the ground segment of MTG, the most complex and innovative meteorological geostationary system ever built. Deployed on both sides of the Alps, in Lario, Italy, and Leuk, Switzerland, the stations constitute the MTG Mission Data Acquisition Facility (MDAF). Each station features two 6.5 meter antennas to simultaneously receive data from two MTG satellites, a monitoring and control system allowing remote control from EUMETSAT and all networks and tools required for operations.
Contrary to the ground stations of the current EUMETSAT satellite systems, the MTG MDA stations use a new high capacity Ka-band technology to acquire the much higher volumes of data sent to the ground every couple of minutes by a fleet of up to three MTG imaging and sounding satellites. Each station then decrypts the acquired data and routes them via dedicated, highly reliable optical fibre connections to EUMETSAT’s headquarters in Darmstadt, where they will be processed in real time. The MDAF is the first facility of the MTG ground segment to be accepted by EUMETSAT, which constitutes a major milestone in the ground segment development.
Alexander Schmid, MTG Program Manager, said that this review marks the successful completion of the development of a complex facility and the transfer of its ownership to EUMETSAT. This is undoubtedly a major achievement of Eumetsat's MTG ground segment development program.
The next facility to be accepted, in the spring of 2018, is a set of two Telemetry, Tracking and Command ground stations deployed in Fucino, Italy, and Cheia, Romania.