Supporting numerial weather prediction, nowcasting, and climate monitoring
METimage is a multi-spectral (visible and IR) imaging passive radiometer which will provide detailed information on clouds, wind, aerosols and surface properties which are essential for meteorological and climate applications.
10 January 2023
19 May 2020
METimage will provide continuity to the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) series on board the EPS and NOAA satellites, and VIIRS on board NOAA satellites. METimage is expected to have a great improvement with respect to AVHRR and comparable performance with respect to VIIRS.
The primary objective of the VII mission is to provide high quality imagery data for global and regional numerial weather prediction (NWP), nowcasting, and climate monitoring through the provision of:
- High horizontal resolution cloud products including microphysical analysis
- Sea surface temperature
- Vegetation, snow coverage, and fire monitoring products
- Aerosol products
- Polar atmospheric motion vectors
The mission objectives also include providing information on aerosols, cloud size, surface albedo, fire, land and ice surface temperature, snow cover and soil moisture. An important objective of METimage is to support the sounders on-board EPS-SG A satellite for their geolocation, cloud characterisation and scene inhomogeneity quantification for correction of the spectral response.
Compared to its predecessor AVHRR, METimage will have many more channels for the benefit of measuring far more geophysical variables. This combined with on-board radiometric calibration of solar channels and the enhanced spatial sampling (500m compared to 1km at nadir) will provide a breakthrough in several application areas: numerical weather forecast, very short-range forecast and now-casting, oceanography, hydrology, land-surface applications, and climate monitoring.
This imaging radiometer measures the thermal radiance emitted by the earth and solar backscattered radiation. It, thus, covers a broad spectral range in 20 spectral bands from 0.443µm to 13.345µm. METimage provides images in a number of spectral channels as listed below.
|VII-4||0.443µm||Aerosol, ‘true colour imagery’ (blue channel), vegetation|
|VII-8||0.555µm||Clouds, vegetation, ‘true colour imagery’ (green channel)|
|VII-12||0.668µm||Clouds, vegetation, ‘true colour imagery’ (red channel)|
|VII-15||0.752µm||Atmospheric corrections (aerosol), optical cloud top height assignment, vegetation|
|VII-16||0.763µm||Atmospheric corrections (aerosol), optical cloud top height assignment, vegetation|
|VII-17||0.865µm||Vegetation, aerosol, clouds, surface features|
|VII-20||0.914µm||Water vapour imagery
Water vapour total column
|VII-23||1.375µm||High level aerosol, cirrus clouds, water vapour imagery|
|VII-24||1.63µm||Cloud phase, snow and ice, vegetation, aerosol, fire|
|VII-25||2.25µm||Cloud microphysics at cloud top, vegetation, aerosol over land, fire (effects)|
|VII-26||3.74µm||Cloud variables, cloud microphysics at cloud top, absorbing aerosol, Sea Surface temperature (SST), Land Surface Temperature (LST), fire, sea and land ice, snow|
|VII-28||3.959µm||SST, LST, fire|
|VII-30||4.05µm||SST, LST, fire|
|VII-33||6.725µm||Water vapour imagery (including wind in polar regions), water vapour profile (coarse vertical resolution)|
|VII-34||7.325µm||Water vapour imagery (including wind in polar regions), water vapour profile (coarse vertical resolution)|
|VII-35||8.54µm||Cirrus clouds, cloud emissivity|
|VII-37||10.69µm||Cloud variables including cirrus detection, surface temperatures and other radiative variables, surface imagery (snow, ice etc.)|
|VII-39||12.02µm||Cloud variables including cirrus detection, surface temperatures and other radiative variables, surface imagery (snow, ice etc.)|
|VII-40||13.345µm||Carbon dioxide (CO2) slicing for accurate cloud top height. Temperature profile (coarse vertical resolution)|
The following table shows the central wavelength of the 20 channels of METimage, their bandwidth, and signal to noise ratio.
|Channel number||Central Wavelength
|FWHM (in micrometres)
||SNR or NEδT* & specified input|
|VII-4||0.443µm||0.03||221 (at 42W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-8||0.555µm||0.02||215 (at 22W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-12||0.668µm||0.02||66 (at 9.5W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-15||0.7515µm||0.01||400 (at 28W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-16||0.7627µm||0.0115||400 (at 20W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-17||0.865µm||0.02||60 (at 6.04W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-20||0.914µm||0.02||250 (at 15W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-22||1.24µm||0.02||75 (at 5.4W m-2 sr1 µm-1)|
|VII-23||1.375µm||0.04||300 (at 6W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-24||1.63µm||0.02||300 (at 7.3W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-25||2.25µm||0.05||110 (at 1W m-2 sr-1 µm-1)|
|VII-26||3.74µm||0.18||0.050 (at 300K)|
|VII-28||3.959µm||0.06||0.074 (at 300K)|
|VII-30||4.05µm||0.06||0.074 (at 300K)|
|VII-33||6.725µm||0.37||0.215 (at 238K)|
|VII-34||7.325µm||0.29||0.200 (at 250 K)|
|VII-35||8.54µm||0.29||0.050 (at 300K)|
|VII-37||10.69µm||0.5||0.050 (at 300K)|
|VII-39||12.02µm||0.5||0.050 (at 300K)|
|VII-40||13.345µm||0.31||0.2 (at 260K)|
*NEΔT — Noise Equivalent Temperature change
METimage scanning characteristics
Derived from a whisk-broom scanner principle, the instrument records 24 image lines simultaneously during each scan across-track with a swath width of ±54 degrees. By proper selection of rotation frequency, the scanner produces a gap-free scan pattern on ground. Output is an image sampled at discrete locations. The sampling within each line is performed at constant scan angle increments.
METimage has an across track swath of ~2670km, corresponding to a scan angle of ±53deg, with a constant spatial sampling angle across the swath and a spatial resolution of 500m at nadir. The scan period of 1.729s is defined by the satellite orbit (sun-synchronous, average altitude of 830km) and the spatial resolution.
Other EPS-SG instruments
Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer - New Generation (IASI-NG) is a passive infrared sounder.
The EPS-SG Multi-Viewing Multi-Channel Multi-Polarisation Imaging (3MI) instrument is a passive optical radiometer.
Ice Cloud Imager
The Ice Cloud Imager (ICI) instrument is a conically scanning millimetre/sub-millimetre wave radiometer.
The Scatterometer (SCA) is a real aperture, side-looking radar, emitting microwave radiation towards the Earth's surface.
METimage science studies
O2 A-band Cloud Top Pressure retrieval with METimage
Establishing the basis of an operational algorithm for the retrieval of CTP from the METImage imager Oxygen A-band channels.