On July 5th, the third Meteosat Second Generation (MSG-3) satellite, the tenth in the Meteosat family, successfully lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites are designed to improve weather forecasting accuracy. The first of this new series, MSG-1, renamed as Meteosat-8, was blasted into orbit back in 2002, followed three years later by MSG-2. The two continued the work of the forerunner weather satellites, which began with Meteosat-1 in 1977.
MSG is a joint program of the European Space Agency (ESA) and EUMETSAT. ESA is responsible for the launch and initial operation phases run from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. GMV is providing in situ support for the flight dynamic operations of this device; designed to facilitate the daily life of Europe’s citizens.
Along with monitoring cloud formation and temperatures to improve weather forecasting accuracy, MSG-3 also has two secondary missions: studying earth radiation and aiding in search and rescue field.
MSG-3 also includes different systems and pieces of equipment with state-of-the-art technology. The heart of MSG-3 is the high resolution visible and infrared imager SEVIRI, a sophisticated radiometer that provides clean, updated images of the skies every 15 minutes. SEVIRI will observe all the meteorological phenomena that occur over one third of the earth’s surface for seven years. The imager will monitor areas from the North Pole to the South Pole and from Chile to India.
Within ten days of the special operations EUMETSAT will take over control of routine satellite operations. The SAFNWC (Satellite Application Facility for support to NoWCasting and very short range forecasting), a system integrated in the ground segment of the Meteosat satellite system (MSG: Meteosat Second Generation), will receive and process the MSG-SEVIRI data to generate the various meteorological products serving as support for very short range forecasting.
Since 1998 GMV has been providing the Spanish Meteorology Agency (Agencia Estatal de Meteorología: AEMET) with services for the generation and maintenance of the MSG-related software package, taking on responsibility for engineering and system-integration activities as well as maintenance and support for end users.