MTG Ground Segment Cheia

Evolutions to EUMETCast services for the MTG era

Evolution of data access and dissemination with MTG

MTG Ground Segment Cheia
MTG Ground Segment Cheia

Evolution of data access and dissemination with Meteosat Third Generation.

Last Updated

26 October 2020

Published on

20 May 2020

In the MTG era, for fulfilment of official duties of NMHS for safety-critical nowcasting and high-impact forecasting, EUMETSAT continues to rely on the EUMETCast technology to support its 4000+ user base in the footprint of the EUMETCast Europe service. Additional near-real-time and other data dissemination options, such as using terrestrial networks, are currently being explored.

Multicast technology and dissemination logic of the EUMETCast service remain the same in the MTG era. EUMETCast users should be able to seamlessly transition to high rate acquisition of high volumes of MTG data and products, provided they upgrade their reception and processing systems to cope with the data rates available as of 2022, after launch and commissioning of the first MTG satellite (MTG-I1).

Data rate evolution

The MTG era will see satellite data rates growing at least tenfold compared to current MSG services — to be acquired, processed and distributed to users by the MTG system ground segment; on their part, users need to assess whether their data acquiring and processing systems are capable of accessing and handling MTG data, to ensure smooth access to the new data streams and continuity of data services.

Evolution of data rates from current MSG to the full MTG operations
Figure 1: Evolution of data rates from current MSG to the full MTG operations

On top of this step change induced by MTG, the 2020s will see the addition of data from other missions operated by EUMETSAT, such as the polar-orbiting EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG) and the Copernicus Sentinel missions operated by EUMETSAT on behalf of the European Commission. This leads to further increases in total data volumes and rates of EUMETSAT data services. Users of these services are advised to take these changes into account when designing their future data access and processing infrastructure.

EUMETCast Europe fraction of data rates
Figure 2: Evolution of MTG data rates and fraction of data rate used per MTG product class
EUMETCast data rate evolution
Figure 3: EUMETCast Europe data rate evolution. The full operational MTG capability is planned to be reached by 2026.

User impact

EUMETCast Europe users have a range of choices to prepare for MTG: at least one separate antenna is required for each DVB Satellite (prime and backup), large enough for the high volume service. One additional spare/backup antenna is recommended for professional users, to ensure uninterrupted service in case of antenna maintenance. Depending on the distance between the prime and backup satellite, dual feed systems can be used to cover both. For each transponder, generally one DVB receiver is needed. Some multi-input DVB receivers support simultaneous reception of multiple transponders.

Redundant set up
Figure 4: Example of two satellite constellation - redundant set up
Minimum set up
Figure 5: Example of two satellite constellation - minimum set up

Regarding the low-noise block downconverter (LNB):

  • Downlink frequency band is in the Ku-band.
  • Each transponder works on a single Ku sub-band.
  • Frequency band - can be high or low.
  • Polarisation - can be horizontal or vertical.
  • A Quattro LNB is recommended for each antenna, in connection with multi-switches: such a configuration can support all Ku sub-bands simultaneously, i.e. is ready to support reception of any number of transponders from the same satellite.

In order to connect LNB with DVB multiswitch four coaxial RF connector cables are needed. Each DVB multiswitch can support multiple inputs (one or more LNBs) and multiple outputs to DVB receivers. Each transponder requires one separate receiver.

DVB routers are suggested for easy upgrade concept. DVB cards require more integration effort into the reception PC.

Example of receiver chain
Figure 6: Example of receiver chain
Example of receiver chain scaled up
Figure 7: Example of receiver chain scaled up

A list of manufacturers who plan to upgrade their systems to be compatible with next-generation MTG and EPS-SG data can be found on the Equipment Manufacturers page.