Minimize Meteosat Second Generation
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The Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) consists of a series of four geostationary meteorological satellites, along with ground-based infrastructure, that will operate consecutively until 2020. The MSG satellites carry an impressive pair of instruments - the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI), which has the capacity to observe the Earth in 12 spectral channels and provide image data which is core to operational forecasting needs, and the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument supporting climate studies.

For almost 30 years ESA has been building Europe's orbital weather satellites: the Meteosat series of geostationary spacecraft, the first of which was launched in 1977. The success of the early Meteosats led to the creation of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) in 1986.

ESA was responsible for designing and developing the first MSG satellite, and for procuring the other three on behalf of EUMETSAT. Meanwhile EUMETSAT has responsibility for defining the payload based on user needs, procuring the ground segment and launchers, and operating the system.

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Taking Earth's temperature

13 January 2014

Like thermometers in the sky, satellite instruments can measure the temperatures of Earth's surfaces. ESA's new GlobTemperature project is merging these data from a variety of spaceborne sensors to provide scientists with a one-stop shop for land, lake and ice temperature data.

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Contract signed for Meteosat Third Generation lightning instruments

07 February 2013

With Europe’s next fleet of meteorological satellites under development, a ceremony held in Italy on 7 February 2013 was an important milestone: the signature of an industrial contract for the provision of four novel lightning imagers.

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Meteosat Third Generation agreement signed at Ministerial meeting

21 November 2012

The European Space Agency and EUMETSAT today signed the agreement on the Meteosat Third Generation weather satellite system at the ESA Ministerial Council in Naples, Italy.

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Facts and figures 
Operators EUMETSAT
Date of Launch MSG-1/Meteosat-8: 28 August 2002
MSG-2/Meteosat-9: 21 December 2005
MSG-3/Meteosat-10: 5 July 2012
MSG-4: Planned for 2014

Meteosat-8: Operating nominally
Meteosat-9: Operating nominally
Meteosat-10: Operating nominally

Orbit Height 35,800 km
Orbit Type Geostationary
Repeat Cycle 15 minutes
  • SEVIRI: 1 km
Onboard Sensors
  • SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager)
    • SEVIRI PFM aboard Meteosat-8
    • SEVIRI PFM2 aboard Meteosat-9
    • SEVIRI PFM3 aboard MSG-3
    • SEVIRI PFM4 aboard MSG-4
  • GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget)
  • MCP (Mission Communication Payload)
  • Search and Rescue Transponder