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Meteosat Tercera Generación
Meteosat Tercera Generación
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Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), a mission from the European Space Agency (ESA) that is primarily geared toward broadening the capabilities of the Meteostat Second Generation (MSG) program, aimed at global and regional weather forecasting, as well as atmospheric monitoring.

MTG will comprise six satellites installed in two different platforms. MTG-I and MTG-S, with two key instruments, the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) and the Infra-red Sounder (IRS). Each instrument is integrated into its corresponding platform, and their mission is to carry out complementary observation tasks.

SENER, responsible for three important contracts for Meteosat Third Generation

The Scan Assembly and the Calibration and Obturation Mechanisms

SENER’s scope in this program will initially include the design and delivery of two critical elements of the subsystem: the Scan Assembly (FCI and IRS SCA) and the Calibration and Obturation Mechanisms (FCI and IRS COM).

The sweeping or scanning mechanisms are key elements of the FCI and IRS in terms of optical quality and the accuracy and pointing stability of the M0 mirror in both telescopes. They generate high resolution Meteosat images through sweeping, thereby eliminating the axial movement of the satellite (spinning) that currently occurs in MSG.

In terms of the calibration system for the FCI, the mechanism proposed by SENER is similar to a filter wheel that rotates the selected element to position and includes integrated optical devices, a black-body radiator, filters, and the shutter. The IRS, on the other hand, will have a mirror mechanism that will rotate on an axis in order to select between the black body radiator, the calibration, the shutter or the observation position.


SENER consists of supplying the Attitude and Orbit Control System, Special Check Out Equipment (AOCS SCOE) for the mission. The aim of this equipment is to provide interfaces for both simulation and stimulation of the sensors and actuators that make up this AOCS, at the same time as enabling real-time simulation of the dynamic conditions, kinematics, and effects that the physical environment will have on the satellites.

The verification of avionics and especially of the Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) or the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) subsystem is a fundamental activity in the flight segment of any space system. Until now, test benches used for this purpose have been produced specifically for each project. But now, SENER has developed a reusable, flexible and scalable system, which can be rapidly adapted and integrated into any verification campaign. The generic AOCS SCOE includes a real-time simulator with the features and capabilities needed for proper AOCS verification.

These units represent a huge engineering challenge for SENER due to their great technical complexity and the wide range of disciplines involved, such as thermo-mechanical design, optics, control engineering, electronics and software.

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