First image of the European meteorological satellite MTG I1
First image of the European meteorological satellite MTG I1
© Eumetsat / ESA

First image of the European meteorological satellite MTG I1

Each weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. On May 4, the first image of the MTG I1 weather satellite, launched last December, was unveiled.

A new generation

On May 4 May, the European Space Agency and Eumetsat, the European organization for the operation of meteorological satellites, unveiled the first image of the Earth taken by MTG I1, the first of the third-generation geostationary Meteosat satellites dedicated to improving weather forecasting.

MTG-I1 (Meteosat Third Generation - Imager 1), built by Thales Alenia Space in cooperation with Germany's OHB, had been placed into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) on 13 December last year, using an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from Arianespace (mission VA259).

MTG-I1 will be joined by three imaging satellites and two sounder satellites between 2024 and 2030.

Designed to operate 8.5 years in orbit, the MTG satellites must ensure continuity of high-resolution weather watch beyond 2040.


More accurate shots

The image shown here was taken on March 18 at 11:50 a.m. UTC, 36 000 km above sea level.

It was made with the help of the FCI (Flexible Combined Imager) imager, equipped with 16 channels (compared to 12 on the second-generation Meteosat MSGs), generating images of Europe and Africa every 10 minutes (compared to 15 previously).

The snapshot offers a level of detail never achieved with previous generations of European satellites, with a spatial resolution of between 500 m and 1 km.

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