New European meteorological satellite arrives at spaceport in French Guiana

(ORDO NEWS) — After a two-week journey across the Atlantic Ocean, the first Meteosat third generation satellite (MTG-I1) has arrived in French Guiana. Engineers will now prepare it for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket in December.

Now the satellite is in a clean room, mission engineers are conducting further checks and preparing it for launch.

MTG-I1 is the first of six satellites to form a complete MTG system that will provide critical data for weather forecasting for the next 20 years.

The mission will consist of two MTG-I and one MTG sensing (MTG-S) satellites that will work together.

The rest of the MTGs will replace the first set of satellites to ensure data continuity for at least two decades.

The MTG mission will provide higher resolution data, the transfer rate will increase, and new data will be available for download.

The MTG-I satellites are equipped with two brand new high quality data acquisition tools to improve weather forecasts: the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) and the Lightning Imager.

The “Flexible Composite Imager” has more spectral channels and is capable of higher resolution imaging compared to SEVIRI’s current 2nd generation Meteosat instrument.

A “lightning imaging device” will continuously monitor over 80% of the globe for lightning strikes occurring either between clouds or between clouds and the ground.

This new tool will allow early detection of severe storms. Its detectors are so sensitive that they can detect relatively weak lightning even in full daylight.

The MTG-I satellites also carry two smaller payloads that will be used to collect data from remote scientific beacons and search for emergency beacons.

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