Preparing the meteorological satellite MTG-I1 for launch

(ORDO NEWS) — Europe’s first Meteosat Third Generation is in the final stages of preparation for shipment to the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The ship carrying the Meteosat Third Generation Imager-1 (MTG-I1) satellite will sail from Fos-sur-Mer near Marseille on 28 September.

After arriving in Kourou, preparations for takeoff will take about seven weeks. The MTG-I1 is currently on display in the cleanroom of Thales Alenia Space, the main contractor for the mission.

The new satellite boasts two new high-sensitivity instruments, the Flexible Combined Imager and the Lightning Imager, which should take weather forecasting to the next level.

The complete MTG system is expected to last more than 20 years and consists of six satellites: four MTG-I satellites and two MTG-S sounding satellites.

A new generation of meteorological satellites will greatly enhance the current imaging capabilities. It will be possible to obtain both real-time images of lightning and completely new infrared sounding data for early detection of severe storms.

The full configuration of the MTG is expected to provide at least 50 times more data at a much higher resolution than what is available today.

For example, MTG-I’s Flexible Combined Imager has more spectral bands and high resolution images than Meteosat’s Second Generation Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared tool.

MTG-I Lightning Imager offers completely new possibilities for European meteorological satellites. It will continuously track lightning strikes over 80% of the globe. Its detectors are so sensitive that they can detect relatively weak lightning even in daylight.

The mission of the MTG is a collaboration between ESA and Eumetsat. ESA is responsible for the implementation of the MTG satellites, while Eumetsat is responsible for the use of the spacecraft throughout its life cycle and the transmission of data to users.

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