Meteosat First Generation in orbit

Meteosat First Generation Gain Settings

Meteosat First Generation in orbit
Meteosat First Generation in orbit

Gain is a measure of amplification, expressed in dB. Each of the spectral channels can be operated at one of 16 different gain levels (0–15).

Last Updated

15 September 2020

Published on

12 May 2020

These gain levels are used to obtain the optimum dynamic range (0–255) for each spectral channel and are adjusted as required. The image gain level adjustment is particularly useful for compensating for the effects of radiometer contamination and detector ageing.

At the start of operations of a particular satellite the gain level is selected for each spectral channel such that saturation, i.e. instances of counts of 255, either does not occur, or is very infrequent. Since the gain steps have an approximate ratio of 1.2, an increase of gain would normally be made when the maximum count at local noon falls to less than 212.

In general, the user should not be concerned with the image gain changes, in terms of calibration, since the effects of any gain change will be compensated for by an adjustment of the operational calibration coefficients. For calibration information, please see the Calibration pages.

Gain figures

The information below shows the electronic gain settings for the one operational first generation EUMETSAT satellite. Historical gain settings for Meteosat-2 to Meteosat-7 are also available.


  • VIS1+2: 5
  • WV: 5
  • IR: 5

Last gain change: 23 March, 2011


  • VIS1+2: 6
  • WV: 12
  • IR: 11

Last gain change: 15 July, 2014

The following historical gain settings are available to download:

Meteosat-6 and Meteosat-7, 2004 onwards