Polish Testing Equipment for the European Weather Satellites

Astri Polska has developed and manufactured Electrical Ground Support Equipment for the MetOp-SG satellites. The package has been, in its entirety, designed and manufactured by a team of Polish engineers, on the grounds of a contract concluded with ESA. For the purpose of the programme, Astri Polska is also going to deliver another two systems as such.

ESGE system manufactured by Astri Polska will make it possible to test the electronic solutions applied in case of the first two MetOp-SG satellites, before they are sent into the outer space, which is planned to happen in 2019, 2020 or in 2021. The hardware has been transferred to the Toulouse-based Airbus Defence and Space facility, where MetOp-SG satellites are manufactured. Astri Polska has created the aforesaid equipment, on the basis of a contract signed by and between the Polish company and the European Space Agency, in late May this year.  

MetOp is one of the main European space programmes. Not only is the delivery of the ESGE system a major accomplishment for our company, as it also marks a milestone for the Polish space sector’s footprint in the European space programmes.

Jacek Mandas, Astri Poland President

Within the framework of the MetOp-SG programme, Astri Polska will additionally deliver another example of the EGSE device, along with relevant hardware, required to test and validate the ground stations used to establish a communication link with the satellites. However, this is not the first success achieved by the Polish company, within the scope of projects implemented for ESA. In March this year, ESGE package for the NeoSat programme has also been delivered by Astri. The aforesaid programme assumes that a common European platform would be established and created for the communication satellites.

MetOp-SG Satellites. Image Credit: ESA – P. Carril

MetOp is a European weather satellites programme. The purpose of the satellite platforms, belonging to the aforesaid family, is to deliver the weather data, in order to monitor the climate and expand the effectiveness, within the scope of the weather forecasting. The programme in question is a collaborative effort undertaken by ESA, jointly with Eumetsat. At the moment, two 1st generation MetOp satellites are orbiting in the outer space. Astri Polska is involved in the Metop-SG (second generation) project, the goal of which is to place 2nd generation satellites in the orbit.

The total cost of the programme, including launching of the satellites, development and manufacturing, maintenance and ground infrastructure is to be as high as EUR 4.1 billion, and this cost is expected to emerge until the year 2042. 80% of the funds are to come from the Eumetsat budget, with the remaining assets provided by ESA. Six new satellites will be created by Airbus Defence and Space, on the basis of a 1.3 billion euros worth contract, signed back in October 2015. 


Astri Polska is the first Polish company operating in the space sector, in case of which 100% of income comes from the space-related projects. The company is involved in numerous project pursued by ESA and the European Commission. Astri specializes itself in delivering solutions in the domains of electronics, optoelectronics, GNSS, Earth observation and satellite communications. It is a joint venture company between Airbus Defence and Space and Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences.