ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Meteosat Third Generation : first AOCS in flight results from PFM-I1 LEOP and commissioning
In December 2022, MTG PFM-I1, the first Meteosat Third Generation satellite, aiming at renewing the current Meteosat fleet, was launched on Ariane5 from Kourou, French Guiana. It will be followed by three others MTG-I (Imaging) Satellites and two MTG-S (Sounding) Satellites between 2025 and 2033. The attitude control concept changes from spinning satellites, which was the selected approach for the first and second generations, to a three-axes stabilization, offering better pointing performances as requested by the new generation of Meteosat instruments. The Imaging satellites embark two main instruments: the FCI (Flexible Combine Imager, successor of the MSG instrument, it will offer 16 channels between 0.3 and 13.3 microns, and deliver a full image of Earth every 10 minutes.) developed by Thales Alenia Space and the LI (Lightning Imager) manufactured by LEONARDO, whose objective is the early detection of severe storms as they develop. The MTG-S satellites carry an Infrared Sounder and the Copernicus Sentinel-4 instrument. The two MTG satellites are mounted on a common Platform developed by OHB. Thales Alenia Space leads the industrial consortium that is building the MTG family, with OHB as major partner. The launch has been followed by a LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phases) period of 15 days led by EUMETSAT and TELESPAZIO from Fucino in Italy. EUMETSAT and Telespazio was helped by a ESA/TAS/OHB project support team. The handover to EUMETSAT has been achieved in the last days of 2022 after the spacecraft has successfully reached its final position on geostationary orbit and has triggered the mode NOM/FPM (Fine Pointing Mode, very accurate Earth Pointing mode used to performed the observation). The satellite is now ready to undergo an eight months of commissioning activities whose objective will be to assess the satellite and instruments functionality, operability and performance against the space segment requirements. It will include the payloads activation and operability using the Instrument Quality Tool(IQT). This paper presents the AOCS MTG design and the way it has behaved during the LEOP phase, including some lessons learnt for the next FMs. Then it introduces the first main results of the commissioning phase, notably the FPM mode performances after instrument activation (pointing and attitude estimation with STR merging software, RW friction compensation, FCI scan pointing and compensation of instrument disturbance by PF, on-board orbit propagator ).