12. December 2022

MTG-I1 – Launch­ing a new era of Eu­ro­pean weath­er ob­ser­va­tion

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Space
Launch of Ariane 5 with the MTG-I1 weather satellite
Launch of Ar­i­ane 5 with the MTG-I1 weath­er satel­lite
Image 1/5, Credit: © 2022 ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE / Optique video du CSG-S MARTIN

Launch of Ariane 5 with the MTG-I1 weather satellite

On 13 De­cem­ber 2022 at 21:30 CET (17:30 lo­cal time in Kourou), the Ar­i­ane 5 launch ve­hi­cle with the weath­er satel­lite MTG-I1 (Me­teosat Third Gen­er­a­tion Im­ager-1) on board was suc­cess­ful­ly launched in­to space from Eu­rope’s Space­port in French Guiana.
The MTG-I1 weather satellite launches into space
The MTG-I1 weath­er satel­lite launch­es in­to space
Image 2/5, Credit: ESA–M. Pedoussaut

The MTG-I1 weather satellite launches into space

The weath­er satel­lite MTG-I1 (Me­teosat Third Gen­er­a­tion Im­ager-I), which will fun­da­men­tal­ly change short-term weath­er fore­cast­ing in Eu­rope, lift­ed off on 13 De­cem­ber at 21:30 CET (17:30 lo­cal time in Kourou) on board an Ar­i­ane 5 launch ve­hi­cle from Eu­rope’s Space­port in French Guiana. MTG-I1 will de­liv­er twice the tem­po­ral and spa­tial res­o­lu­tion and 100 times the da­ta rate of pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions and will al­so ac­cu­rate­ly record light­ning and thus re­gion­al thun­der­storms.
MTG-I1 in space
MTG-I1 in space
Image 3/5, Credit: ESA/Mlabspace/CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

MTG-I1 in space

At an al­ti­tude of around 36,000 kilo­me­tres above the equa­tor, MTG-I1 will ob­serve weath­er pat­terns over Eu­rope and Africa.
Installation on the launch adapter
In­stal­la­tion on the launch adapter
Image 4/5, Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace

Installation on the launch adapter

Here, MTG-I1 is in­stalled on the launch adapter of the Ar­i­ane 5 launch ve­hi­cle. About 30 min­utes af­ter launch, the satel­lite will be re­leased in­to trans­fer or­bit.
Meteosat image of Earth
Me­teosat im­age of Earth
Image 5/5, Credit: EUMETSAT/ESA

Meteosat image of Earth

This im­age of Earth was tak­en by a Me­teosat Sec­ond Gen­er­a­tion se­ries satel­lite on 23 March 2022. The MTG se­ries will be able to de­liv­er twice the tem­po­ral and spa­tial res­o­lu­tion and 100 times the da­ta rate of pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions.
  • The Meteosat Third Generation Imager- 1 (MTG-I1) weather satellite launched into Space on 13 December 2022 at 21:30 CET on board an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
  • This first satellite of the latest generation of geostationary weather satellites marks the beginning of a new era of weather observation for Europe.\MTG-I1 delivers twice the temporal and spatial resolution and 100 times the data rate of previous generations. It can also accurately record lightning and thus regional thunderstorms.
  • Focus: Space, weather forecasting

+++ UPDATE: On 13 December 2022 at 21:30 CET (17:30 local time in Kourou), the Ariane 5 launch vehicle with the weather satellite MTG-I1 (Meteosat Third Generation Imager-1) on board was successfully launched into space from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. +++

The Meteosat Third Generation Imager-1 (MTG-I1) satellite marks the beginning of a new era of weather observation for Europe: the first satellite of the latest generation of geostationary weather satellites launched into space on 13 December 2022 at 21:30 CET on board an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana. Approximately 30 minutes after launch, the satellite was released into transfer orbit. During its 10-year mission, the satellite will continuously provide data on weather events such as solar irradiance, wind conditions and heavy rain events, making weather forecasts even more accurate.

Early detection of thunderstorms, fog and forest fires

"MTG-I1 will observe Europe and Africa from space – with twice the temporal and spatial resolution of its predecessors," explains Walther Pelzer, Member of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Executive Board and Director General of the German Space Agency at DLR, based in Bonn. "The weather satellite will also be able to identify local storms and detect lightning. This will take weather forecasting a step further from large-scale forecasting to regional weather and storm forecasting." In addition to early detection of thunderstorms, the MTG-I1 data will also enable automatic fog and forest fire detection. This means that physical phenomena such as winds and lightning will be observed much more accurately, which will enable severe weather events to be predicted more reliably, for example.

"The primary instrument on MTG-I1 is the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI). It has 16 spectral channels and a resolution of 500 to 2000 metres, depending on the channel and operating mode," explains Thomas Ruwwe, MTG programme manager at the German Space Agency at DLR. The time for imaging the entire Earth disc is 10 minutes. In the ‘Rapidscan’ mode, Europe can be scanned in only 2.5 minutes with increased geometric resolution. This latest European weather satellite thus delivers double the temporal and spatial resolution and 100 times the data rate of previous generations.

Key German participation

Germany has a share of approximately 30 percent in the development of the European MTG satellites. OHB is responsible for the construction of all six satellite platforms as well as for the InfraRed Sounder (IRS) instrument on the Meteosat Third Generation Sounder (MTG-S) satellites. The company Airbus DS is significantly involved in the development and construction of the Sentinel-4 instrument on the MTG-S satellites. The German Space Agency at DLR is responsible for technical support in the implementation of the MTG programme in cooperation with the German Weather Service (DWD), funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV).

MTG-I1 becomes ‘Meteosat-12’

Following launch, MTG-I1 entered its Launch and Early Operation Phase (LEOP). During this phase, the satellite reaches its target orbit, opens its solar arrays and switches on its communication systems. In the subsequent commissioning phase, the instruments are switched on, tested and calibrated in order to adapt the algorithms that will evaluate the acquired data. The operational phase of MTG-I1 will begin approximately one year after launch. During this phase, the data products that MTG-1I enables will be transmitted to all European weather services, including the German Weather Service, within a few minutes of being recorded. At this time, the satellite will be renamed ‘Meteosat-12’.

The MTG series was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) on behalf of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and is intended to ensure the continuity of weather observation from space, which began in 1977 with Meteosat-1. MTG consists of a total of six satellites launched in series to routinely generate weather data for the next 25 years. There are two types of satellites: four satellites with imaging instruments called imagers (MTG-I1-4) and two satellites with spectroscopic instruments called sounders (MTG-S1-2). The primary instruments will provide new data for forecasting extreme weather events. The launch of MTG-S1 is planned for mid-2024.

Contact
  • Diana Gonzalez
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Ger­man Space Agen­cy at DLR
    Strat­e­gy and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
    Telephone: +49 228 447-388
    Königswinterer Straße 522-524
    53227 Bonn
    Contact
  • Thomas Ruwwe
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Earth Ob­ser­va­tion
    Telephone: +49 228 447-303
    Fax: +49 228 447-747

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