Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Europe’s MSG weather satellite serves scientists as well as forecasters

16.09.2004


The first Meteosat Second Generation meteorological satellite is today in operational service as Meteosat-8. The data it streams down from 36000 km over Africa’s Gulf of Guinea assists not just European weather forecasters but also numerous scientific teams.



This dual role was highlighted during a two-day Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Research Announcement of Opportunity Workshop in Salzburg Austria, last week, running alongside the final two days of ESA’s Envisat Symposium. The Workshop comprised a total of 25 presentations given by Principal Investigators (PIs) detailing their current and planned uses of MSG products, which have been routinely available since January. "Quite a few projects exploit synergies between MSG and Envisat or ERS results," said MSG Mission Manager Eva Oriol-Pibernat. "Participants of one event were pleased to be able to attend related sessions in the other."

Developed by ESA in co-operation with spacecraft operator EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, MSG is the follow-on to the successful Meteosat series that has been operationally supplying weather data to European forecasters from geostationary orbit since 1977, when the first Meteosat was launched by ESA.


MSG-1 was launched by EUMETSAT in August 2002. Following in-orbit qualification, at the start of this year it began routine operations. The satellite is much larger than its predecessors, and its main camera, the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-red Imager (SEVIRI), acquires imagery more frequently with a sharper resolution across a wider range of wavelengths.

Also aboard is another instrument called the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB), that quantifies the planetary energy balance between solar radiation sent to Earth from the Sun and that reflected or scattered radiation back, or alternatively lost as heat – a key indicator of the Earth’s climate.

GERB was explicitly designed as a scientific sensor. Conversely SEVIRI is optimised for operational weather forecasting, but returns data of great use to scientists concerning the distribution and temperature of Earth’s cloud cover, atmospheric water vapour and trace gases and visible and infrared views of its land and sea surface.

There was strong interest from the start in data from both these instruments: the MSG Research Announcement of Opportunity was released by ESA and EUMETSAT back in 1999, receiving some 43 proposals. Last week’s event was the first opportunity for scientific users of MSG results to meet since SEVIRI and GERB data became routinely available. "The presentations included updates on the calibration and validation of the MSG instruments," explained Yves Govaerts of EUMETSAT. "The majority were dedicated to SEVIRI data, with many presenters stressing its exceptional radiometric quality."

Among a trio of presentations dedicated to GERB was one by David Llewellyn-Jones of the University of Leicester, recounting how its data – combined with atmospheric results gathered by Envisat instruments - are being used to evaluate models of how top-of-atmosphere greenhouse gas concentrations cause shifts in the terrestrial radiation budget.

Turning to SEVIRI, separate teams from Valladolid University and King’s College London detailed how infrared bands on the sensor can be used to detect forest or vegetation fire outbreaks or biomass burning smaller than one hectare in area.

The instrument’s relatively limited spatial resolution is made up for by high temporal resolution, with new images being available every 15 minutes with the latter group planning to use the data as a means of estimating the minimum amount of the carbon and aerosols emitted by biomass burning across southern Africa, useful information for improving the accuracy of climate models. SEVIRI’s capability to detect dust and African desert sand were also demonstrated.

Other presentations recounted SEVIRI’s enhanced ability to differentiate types of water and ice clouds – with one group from the University of Marburg calling the instrument "a significant step forward in the remote sensing of fog" during both day and night. Fog detection and description is particularly important in terms of air quality as well as for ground and air traffic management.

With Sicily’s Mount Etna volcano currently showing signs of activity, Mauro Coltelli of Italy’s Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) explained how he plans to combine data from ground-based cameras on the volcano summit with infrared imagery from SEVIRI as part of an ash cloud monitoring system furnishing information to nearby Catania International Airport, the Italian National Civil Protection Agency and also the country’s Agency for Civil Aviation.

SEVIRI is also one of a number of satellite sensors being used operationally along with in-situ resources to measure sea surface temperature (SST) on a near-real time basis - an international project called the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) high-resolution sea surface temperature pilot project (GHRSST-PP).

Craig Donlon of the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research stated that SEVIRI SST data produced at the EUMETSAT Ocean and Ice Satellite Application Facility "form a core data source" for the ongoing project.

Last week’s Workshop followed a previous event that took place in Bologna, Italy, in May 2000, and a third and last Workshop is planned for 2006. By then the second spacecraft in the series, MSG-2, will have been launched from French Guiana. Its deployment by Ariane 5 launcher is currently scheduled for spring of next year.

This will be followed by the launch of the first of a new series of polar orbiting weather satellites, MetOp, planned for the end of 2005. Scientists can submit proposals to ESA and EUMETSAT for the EPS/MetOp Research Announcement of Opportunity until 20 October this year.

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/export/esaEO/SEMREW0XDYD_index_0.html
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute

nachricht Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>