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Observing fast-evolving weather with MTG

Satellite constellation

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ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Meteorological missions / Meteosat Third Generation

To provide the wide range of observations from geostationary orbit needed by the meteorological community, the MTG space component of the mission comprises two satellite types: MTG-Imagers and MTG-Sounders. They use a common three-axis stabilised satellite platform. To ensure continuity of data for at least 20 years, the mission is based on six satellites, four MTG-I satellites and two MTG-S satellites.

The instrument package carried on each of the MTG-I satellites includes a Flexible Combined Imager, a Lightning Imager and a data collection system and search and rescue relay system.

The instrument package carried on each of the MTG-S satellites includes an Infrared Sounder and the Sentinel-4 ultraviolet visible and near-infrared sounder which is part of the EU’s Copernicus programme.

When fully deployed, the system will include two MTG-I satellites operating in tandem – one scanning Europe and Africa every 10 minutes and the other only Europe but every 2.5 minutes – and one MTG-S satellite.

The MTG-I satellites will increase the frequency and resolution of current Meteosat Second Generation imagery of weather systems. Along with advanced image resolution, the Flexible Combined Imager’s 16 channels will bring multispectral imaging to a new level. In addition, the satellites will offer completely new information on lightning.

The MTG-S’ fast hyperspectral infrared sounding capabilities will provide vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and moisture every 30 minutes over Europe – a world first. The Copernicus Sentinel-4 mission carried on the MTG-S satellites offer measurements related to air quality such as nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide every 60 minutes.

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