13 December 2022


Media Updates, News, Space

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Meteosat Third Generation Satellite to Revolutionize Weather Forecasting

RHEA Group is celebrating the successful launch by the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Space Agency (ESA) of the first of the third generation of Meteosat satellites, MTG-I1. The new Meteosat satellites will provide increased capabilities for long- and short-term weather forecasting and the monitoring of climate and the environment. RHEA has been delivering engineering support to MTG-I1 since 2019.

The MTG-I1 satellite from ESA and EUMETSAT heads for orbit. Image copyright ESA
The MTG-I1 satellite from ESA and EUMETSAT heads for geostationary orbit. MTG-I1 will provide data that will greatly improve weather forecasting capabilities. Image © ESA

EUMETSAT and ESA have successfully launched the first Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) imaging satellite: MTG-I1. With two new, highly-sensitive instruments on board – a Flexible Combined Imager with increased spectral channels and higher resolution imaging, and a Lightning Imager – MTG-I1 will provide new capabilities to monitor weather, climate and the environment from space. It will be the first dedicated lightning imager over Europe and Africa, improving short-range ‘now-casting’.

When fully operational, images and data from MTG-I1 will be available to the 30 national meteorological services that are EUMETSAT members.

Six MTG satellites are planned, with the fully operational MTG system comprising a minimum of two imaging satellites (MTG-I) and one sounding satellite (MTG-S) at any time. Together they will be the most complex and innovative meteorological geostationary system ever built. The two MTG-I satellites will operate together. The first one will scan the full Earth disc, including Europe and Africa, every 10 minutes, giving information about clouds and land and water surfaces, and lightning. The other will provide local area coverage: for example covering only Europe, but with a faster repeat cycle. The next MTG satellite launch – the MTG-S1 Sounder, which will provide temperature and humidity data – is due to take place in 2024.

Observations taken by MTG satellites will support the development of products and services that could be used in a wide range of activities. These include agricultural productivity, disaster risk reduction, marine and coastal management, sustainable energy production, air quality forecasts, and search and rescue missions.

RHEA has supported EUMETSAT on the MTG-I1 mission since 2019, providing assembly, integration and verification (AIV) engineering activities.

Image: © ESA/Mlabspace