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Meteosat Second Generation
Meteosat Second Generation artistic view
The first MSG spacecraft was launched on 28 August 2002, and became operational on 29 January 2004, when it was redesignated Meteosat-8.
The second MSG spacecraft was launched on 21 December 2005. The reason for the duplication is simply to guarantee continuity of service in case of satellite failure.
The MSG satellite generates multispectral imagery of the Earth's surface and cloud systems at twice the speed of the current Meteosat (every 15 minutes instead of every half an hour) and for a much larger number of spectral channels (twelve compared to three). There is also a vastly improved geometric resolution: 1 km for the high-resolution visible channel and 3 km for the others.
Eight of the channels are in the thermal infrared, providing, among other information, permanent data about the temperature of clouds, land and sea surfaces. Using channels that absorb ozone, water vapour and carbon dioxide, MSG also allows meteorologists to analyse the characteristics of atmospheric air masses, making it possible to reconstruct a three-dimensional view of the atmosphere. The current Meteosat capabilities will be maintained to enable temporal comparisons.
More information on MSG can be found at ESA's MSG website.
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