Meteosat benefits European weather forecasting
ESA and EUMETSAT have a long-standing co-operation for the development and production of operational meteorological satellite missions.
Following the success of the first-generation Meteosats starting in 1977, the second generation of much-improved geostationary weather satellites (called Meteosat Second Generation MSG) guarantees operational services until 2018.
MSG satellites serve Europe's forecasting needs especially in the area of very short-time forecasts relevant in situations of severe weather as well as in numerical weather prediction models. The data are also important for climate monitoring. The image data generated by its 12 spectral channels provide 20 times the information of previous-generation satellites.
The first MSG satellite, which was renamed Meteosat-8, was launched in August 2002 and went operational in January 2004. The second MSG was launched in December 2005 and was renamed Meteosat-9.
EUMETSAT presently operates Meteosat-8 and -9 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-6 and -7 over the Indian Ocean.
Meteosat Second Generation is a joint project between ESA and EUMETSAT, based in Darmstadt, Germany.
ESA developed and procured the first two satellites, MSG-1 and MSG-2, and is procuring MSG-3 and MSG-4 on behalf of EUMETSAT, which developed the ground segment. EUMETSAT is also procuring the launchers, establishing user needs and running the MSG system.
EUMETSAT contributed one-third of the cost of the MSG-1 satellite and is paying for MSG-2, MSG-3 and MSG-4 in full. ESA contributed the remaining two-thirds of the cost of MSG-1 through an optional programme in which 13 of the Agency's
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European Space Agency