Forty years of Meteosat

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ESA’s initial Earth regard satellite was launched on 23 Nov 1977. When a initial Meteosat satellite took a place in a sky, it finished coverage of a whole creation from geostationary circuit and laid a foundations for European and universe team-work in meteorology that continues today.

Meteosat-1 launch

Weather – and quite impassioned continue – affects all we do. Being means to see a whole front of Earth allows forecasters to see building continue systems, as good as operative out breeze speed and instruction formed on cloud movements. Atlantic hurricanes seem on Meteosat images prolonged before they correlate with land, and information from space assistance to envision their tracks.

Before continue satellites, forecasters relied on aspect observations from land, ships and buoys, along with some information about a atmosphere supposing by balloon-borne radiosondes, kites and aircraft. Satellites supposing a immeasurable new array of information that, joined with new mechanism models, helped to make forecasts some-more arguable for longer periods.

Meteosat was an critical miracle in European team-work in space. Individual countries had pioneered monitoring of a ionosphere from space and a European Space Conferences of a 1960s concluded in element that there should be a European continue satellite, though it was not until Meteosat that a intensity for meteorological satellites began to be fulfilled.

Meteosat was instituted as a French project, with impasse both from CNES and a French meteorological service. At a same time, a European Space Research Organisation (ESRO, a foregoer of ESA) was deliberation possibilities for polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites. ESRO motionless on a geostationary satellite, that would clearly be a duplication of a French effort.Over a prolonged duration of fact-finding and negotiation, a foundations were laid for a Meteosat plan to rise from a French one to a European one. Rather than dig a whole operation from France, it was motionless to settle an ESA bureau in Toulouse, from where Meteosat could be grown and guided.

Meteosat-1 initial image

Meteosat-1 carried off during 13:35 GMT on 23 Nov 1977 from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It reached a operational circuit on 7 Dec 1977, and a initial picture was sent behind on 9 December. It was a initial satellite in geostationary circuit to have a H2O effluvium channel to lane a suit of dampness in a air.

The new satellite compulsory good improvements in ESA’s computing energy – both for telemetry and for picture information processing. From a position over a Greenwich meridian, Meteosat-1 could indicate Earth’s full front each 30 minutes, with a information being supposing in near-real time to users.

Since a launch of a initial Meteosat, 40 years of imagery and subsequent meteorological information from it and a successors have helped to significantly urge continue forecasting. There are 35 years’ value of Meteosat imagery accessible online and a satellite’s record of imaging from space constitutes an critical physique of justification in meridian science. Although a early meteorological satellites were not envisaged as collection for measuring meridian change, images of changes in land cover or frigid ice and information on sea-surface heat have turn really useful for meridian investigate and modelling.

There was a opening of roughly a decade between a launch of Meteosat-1 and a central first of Eumetsat, a European organization combined to feat satellite information for continue and meridian investigate with a tellurian community. Today, with transparent operational responsibilities and funding, Eumetsat has turn a tellurian actor in satellite meteorology. With 30 member states, Eumetsat continues to rise new satellite programmes in team-work with ESA.

Meteosat, a first-generation satellite

The Meteosat programme always has one satellite in a operational position during 0º longitude. Meteosat Second Generation kept a drum-shaped pattern of a strange though is dual and a half times incomparable and offers softened resolution, 12 bright channels as against to 3 on a strange system, and faster scanning.

Looking to a future, Meteosat Third Generation is in development, with new capabilities such as lightning detection, and will pledge continued European monitoring of a atmosphere from space into a 2030s.

Source: ESA

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