Monday, August 1, 2022

European meteorologists prepare for new era in satellite meteorology

"Its time for europe to get its own ”GOES-16 upgrade”

Next-generation European meteorological satellites systems will begin to be deployed later this year

About 200 meteorologists, climate experts and researchers are gathering in Darmstadt, Germany, from today to prepare for the start of a new era in satellite meteorology in Europe.

EUMETSAT, Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, will from the end of this year begin deploying next-generation weather and climate-monitoring systems that are expected to usher in a new level of forecasting accuracy.

“Our 30 member states are investing more than €6 billion to deploy the next generation of our geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite fleets over the next 10 years,” EUMETSAT Director-General Phil Evans said today.
“The return on that investment to the citizens in our member states will be earlier warnings of severe weather events, such as storms and floods, and more accurate weather forecasting.
“The cost to benefit ratio of the second generation of our EUMETSAT Polar System alone is likely to exceed 20 to one.
“As climate change is leading to more frequent severe weather events, and more sectors of our economy are weather dependent, the investments we are making in new technology in space and on the ground are not only timely but of critical importance to society.”

The meteorologists and other scientists meeting in Darmstadt until Thursday are discussing preparations for the use of data from the new satellite systems – Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation (EPS-SG).

Evans said the event would encourage research into, and development of, innovative uses of the systems’ data.

Both systems will produce a vastly increased amount of higher resolution data for weather forecasting models.

EUMETSAT has been working with the national meteorological services in its member states to ensure they are ready to make best use of the data once it becomes available.

The first MTG satellite is expected to be launched at the end of this year and the first satellite in the EPS-SG system in 2024.

“The importance of these new systems to our communities cannot be overstated,” Evans said.
“The MTG system, which is critical for the very short-range forecasting of severe weather events will, literally, save lives. The EPS-SG system will allow for more accurate weather forecasting from one to 10 days in advance.

“In short, these systems will start a new era in satellite meteorology and our job, at EUMETSAT, is to work with our member states to ensure that together we get the best possible benefit from them and maximise their positive impact on economies.”

When fully deployed, the MTG spacecraft constellation will consist of three satellites – two imagers and one sounder – in a geostationary orbit 36,000km above the Earth
The system will allow the detection and monitoring of the full life cycle of storms, from initial instability in the atmosphere before clouds even form, right through to mapping lightning strikes
Images of Europe will be produced every 2½ minutes and of Europe and Africa every 10 minutes
The Lightning Imager instrument will continuously observe lightning over Europe and Africa, between clouds and from clouds to the ground
The Infrared Sounder instrument will detect instability in the atmosphere, before clouds have formed
The Copernicus Sentinel-4 sounding mission will observe air quality over Europe
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