Meteosat Second Generation Facts and Figures
Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) is a cooperation programme of ESA (European Space Agency) and EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites). EUMETSAT defines the requirements of the national meteorological offices of its 18 member states. ESA initiates the design of the satellite and supervises the project development with its main contractor Alcatel Space Industries. The satellites series will encompass, at least, MSG-1 to MSG-3.
|Type||Meteorological satellite. MSG is a continuation and enhancement of the previous Meteosat missions|
|Purpose||To provide continuous meteorological imagery of weather situations over Europe and Africa. Additional instruments watch the Earth Radiation Budget and receive distress signals (Search & Rescue)|
Climate Research (GERB)
S&R (Search & Rescue) Transponder
SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager)
This radiometer is the main instrument on board MSG. It provides images of the Earth disc with cloud, land, ocean, snow and other information made visible by day and by night. It takes one full resolution image every 15 minutes, thus illustrating the weather in motion. Its operating principle is based on collecting the Earth's radiation by means of a telescope and focusing it on detectors sensitive to 12 different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is followed by the electronic processing of the signals provided by the detectors.
The infrared channels require low detector temperature and hence a large passive cooler. The instrument's overall mass is 270 kg and its power consumption is nominally less than 123 W during operations.
GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget) experiment
At the core of the GERB instrument is a broadband, three-mirror telescope housed in the Instrument Optical Unit. This views the Earth with a black wide-band detector array, providing measurements of the Earth's output radiation in a total band, and a short-wave band. The long-wave band is obtained by subtraction.
The Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) is the balance between the radiation coming from the Sun and the outgoing reflected and scattered solar radiation, plus thermal infrared emissions, to space. GERB will provide strong synergy with the SEVIRI sensor on MSG.
The GERB instrument can make a unique contribution to the understanding of the Earth's climate balance, since such measurements have never been carried out before from geostationary orbit. The GERB instrument will fly on MSG-1, MSG-2 and MSG-3.
MCP (Meteorological Communications Payload)
The MSG satellite is fitted with highly reliable communications system for data transmission. The various antennas and transponders provide:
- downlink of SEVIRI and GERB data to the Primary Ground Station (Eumetsat)
- up to 3 Megabits per second reception and transmission at 1 Megabits per second of processed meteorological data and images to the user stations
- telemetry, tracking and command for the satellite monitoring and control
S&R (Search and Rescue) transponder
The 406 MHz transponder carried by the MSG satellites will detect and relay distress signals transmitted by distress beacons to an international rescue network developed by Canada, France, the USA and Russia, designed to assist worldwide Search and Rescue (S&R) operations.
|Dimensions||2.4 m high, 3.2 m diameter and 2000 kg in geostationary transfer orbit|
|Characteristics||600 W power demand; Bi-Propellant propulsion system|
|Orbit||Geostationary at 35,800 km altitude Nominal position 0°N-0°E; spin stabilized at 100 RPM|
Total program including launchers, ground segment and operation of the satellites over 12 years: 1.3 billion Euro financed by EUMETSAT
Development and building the MSG-1 satellite costs 475 million Euro, financed for 2/3 by ESA and for 1/3 by EUMETSAT
|Image resolution||Improved horizontal image resolution for the visible light spectral channel (1 km as opposed to 2.5 km on the current Meteosat)|
|Data transmission||All-digital transmission of MSG data; the data transmission is almost 20 times faster (up to 3,2 Mbps) than on current Meteosat|
|Live time||Nominal life in orbit of seven years (two more years than Meteosat)|
Prime contractor Alcatel Space Industries, Cannes, France
SEVIRI: Astrium SAS
MCP: Alenia Spazio
Plattform: Astrium GmbH
GERB: Rutherford Appleton Laboratories
Last update: 21 June 2005