Meteosat Third Generation
Developing Better Weather Forecasts for Europe
To maintain and improve Europe’s weather forecasting activities, EUMETSAT is currently procuring a new, third generation of Meteosat weather satellites (MTG). The procurement of these spacecraft is managed by the European Space Agency (ESA). In total, six MTG satellites will be launched into space starting in 2021.
Four of these spacecraft are dubbed Imagers, which will provide imagery with a much higher resolution compared to what is available today. The two remaining satellites are the so-called Sounder satellites, which will use complex imaging spectrometers to provide information on the distribution and flow of vapor and temperature in the middle part of the atmosphere.
Once these spacecraft are operational, their novel capabilities will significantly improve the accuracy of weather now- and forecasting. As a result, MTG will enable earlier warning of large-scale thunderstorms and intensive rainfall, it will allow more accurate and economic planning of air travel and rescue operations and it will enable farmers to achieve higher yields. Additionally, basic knowledge about our blue planet will be improved with the aid of this third generation of European weather satellites - and it is not only Europe that will benefit from this.
The industrial prime contractor for the MTG program is Thales Alenia Space of France with OHB System AG as its partner. OHB System AG is responsible for development all six satellite platforms and OHB System AG leads the overall development of the two Sounder satellites.
Besides its responsibilities on system and platform level, OHB System AG is also working on developing the mission’s instruments. OHB System AG is leading the overall development of the Infrared Sounder instrument, a highly challenging imaging spectrometer that will be the main instrument of the two Sounder satellites. Also, OHB System AG is developing the telescope assembly for the Flexible Combined Imager, the main instrument on the six Imager satellites. Finally, OHB System AG is part of the industrial core team responsible for the development of the Sentinel 4 UVN instrument. Financed separately by the European Union’s GMES program, Sentinel 4 will also be carried by the two Sounder satellites and will analyze air quality.