MTG. Scan Assembly (SCA)

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SCAU SCAE Ilustración
  • Client: ESA
  • Country: Spain
  • Start date: 2013
  • Ending date: 2019
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The MTG (Meteosat Third Generation) is made up of six satellites installed on two different platforms, MTG-I and MTG-S which, in turn have two key instruments: on the one hand, the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) and, on the other hand, the InfraRed Sounder (IRS), each one integrated into its respective platform and the main purpose of which is to carry out complementary observation tasks.

The scanning mechanisms are a key critical element in the FCI and IRS features, in terms of optical quality and with regard to the precision and stability of the M0 mirror of both telescopes. They enable high resolution Meteosat images to be generated by sweeping, eliminating the spinning movement of the satellite present in the MSG (Meteosat Second Generation).


The main function of the SCA is to provide a controlled scan movement on two axes in order to reflect the image in the M0 mirror in accordance with the predefined scanning laws in the specified environment, and obtain optical data from the Earth by projecting it on the telescope being captured by the optical sensors. Thus, the satellite can take a photograph with precision of just a few metres from a distance of 36,000 kilometres away.

This is done by providing very accurate knowledge of the scan angles, which generates a matrix of locations in the East / West direction to form a row. The strips are gathered by moving from South to North to form an image. The scanner (SCA) is made up of the Scan Assembly Unit (SCAU) and its Electronic Unit (SCAE) (Scan Assembly Electronics): 

  • SCAU
  • Two axis mechanism controled in close loop.
  • Flat mirror M0 (slope: 30º FCI and 45º IRS).
  • Launch lock and release mechanism.
  • Active and passive thermal monitoring and control.
  • Damping system to keep the required performances in the event of disturbances from the platform. 
  • SCAE
  • Drive electronics.
  • Acquisition electronics.
  • Control electronics (control algorithms).
  • Data processing and memory management.

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