The new Meteosat Third Generation Imager-1 (MTG-I1) satellite was launched Tuesday evening aboard the Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The new generation of space probes should provide improved weather forecast data from geostationary orbit over the next two decades. They must recognize and predict storms more quickly so that they can warn in time. Technology from Austria is also available.
The European Space Agency ESA and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (Eumetsat) are responsible for the third generation of Meteosat weather satellites – a total of six of this series are planned. The MTG-I1 is manufactured by a consortium of more than 100 European companies led by Thales Alenia Space. Viennese space company Beyond Gravity Austria provides the machinery, electronics and thermal insulation for all six MTG satellites from Austria.
Significant advances in forecasting rapidly evolving severe weather events are expected from the faster available high-resolution images. Two new tools are used for this: the “Embedded Elastic Imager” generates images of Europe and Africa every ten minutes, and the “Lightning Imager” continuously draws lightning bolts between clouds and from clouds to the ground. “If we run the evening news in the future, the weather forecast will be more reliable and the satellite images will be more accurate,” explains Manfred Sast, President of Beyond Gravity Austria, on a radio show. In order to interpret the data from the new satellite, meteorologists from across Europe are being trained by the European Institute for Severe Weather Research ESSL in Wiener Neustadt (Lower Austria).
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