1 September 2021

Systems and Instrumentation

MetOp Meteorological Operational satellites: Delivery of the OFL system for the IASI-NG instrument, dedicated to Earth’s atmosphere analysis

Bertin Technologies has delivered to Airbus Defense and Space, the weather satellites’ manufacturer, 3 systems called OFL (Optical Fiber Link) to equip the new-generation Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer IASI-NG. Their mission: Performing the optical control of the interferometer on board of the IASI-NG instrument.

In addition to temperature and humidity measurement, the “new generation” IASI instrument will measure more than 25 atmospheric components with a signal and a spectral resolution two times superior to its predecessor IASI. Having an innovative optical configuration, IASI-NG instrument will improve the accuracy of measurements by 1K for temperature and 10% for humidity compared to first generation IASI.

For this project, Bertin Technologies has been selected by Airbus Defense & Space to design, manufacture and test the OFL system, which aims at measuring the optical paths lengths of the light emitted by the Earth through IASI-NG’s interferometer.

This instrument has a crucial role because it directly enters the image acquisition chain. Since it has to deliver and keep high performances in a hostile environment (vibrations, solar radiations, extreme temperatures, etc.), OFL has been specially designed to meet the following technological challenges:

  • Conveying the light from a unique light source to 5 optical measurement paths, thanks to a fiber optic coupler, specially developed for this application.
  • Ensuring the emission and the reception of optical measuring beams with a very high pointing stability through collimation objectives.
  • Transmitting the signals emanating from the interferometer to the detectors, thanks to optical fibers compatible with space use.

Bertin Technologies’ expertise in high-stability opto-mechanical systems and opto-electronical systems is already recognized by the biggest European space manufacturers such as OHB, Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space. Indeed, its technical know-how allows for its involvement in the design and development of numerous embedded space systems: The Source of the Wave Front Sensor (SWFS), for example, is currently being finalized and will also equip the IASI-NG instrument.

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