Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Europe's MSG Weather Satellite Serves Scientists As Well As Forecasters

Date:
September 17, 2004
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
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 assist not just European weather forecasters but also numerous scientific teams.

In early March 2004, a cold air outbreak from Europe to Western Africa caused a major dust storm over large parts of West Africa. On its travel southward, the cold air fanned out across the Sahara, highly diverging over subtropic regions giving the dust front the form of a spanish fan. In the following days, the dust was blown out across the Atlantic Ocean and reached the coast of South America. This 3 March 2004 Meteosat-8 SEVIRI image is a RGB (red green blue) composite of the phenomenon.
Credit: EUMETSAT

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 assist 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Europe's MSG Weather Satellite Serves Scientists As Well As Forecasters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040916102637.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2004, September 17). Europe's MSG Weather Satellite Serves Scientists As Well As Forecasters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040916102637.htm
European Space Agency. "Europe's MSG Weather Satellite Serves Scientists As Well As Forecasters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040916102637.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

AP (July 25, 2014) Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe toured the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort on the Chesapeake Bay today, a day after it was hit by a tornado. The storm claimed two lives and injured dozens of others. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins