launch of MTG-i1

Weather forecasting set to enter a new era with tonight’s launch of next-generation satellite


New-generation satellite carries more advanced instruments for monitoring and forecasting severe weather events

launch of MTG-i1
launch of MTG-i1

Tonight’s launch of a highly advanced meteorological satellite from, Kourou, French Guiana, heralds the start of a new era for weather forecasting in Europe, EUMETSAT Director-General Phil Evans said.

Last Updated

14 December 2022

Published on

13 December 2022

The satellite, MTG-I1, is the first of a new generation of meteorological satellites carrying more advanced and precise instruments for monitoring and forecasting severe weather events such as storms, lightning, fog and wildfires.

It was successfully launched on an Ariane-5 rocket at 21:30 CET and is on its way to its correct orbit, 36,000km above the Equator.

“MTG-I1 will generate images of Europe and Africa every 10 minutes, faster than has been possible up until now, and in higher resolution, more precise detail,” Evans said.

“This data will help meteorologists meet one of their main challenges – timely and accurate forecasts of rapidly developing severe weather events – so that citizens, first responders and civil authorities can take appropriate action.

“The satellite’s lightning imager will continuously map lightning flashes between clouds and from clouds to the ground, which is a first for Europe with significant community and aviation industry safety benefits.”

MTG-I1 – full name Meteosat Third Generation – Imager 1 – will undergo a 12-month commissioning phase, in which its instruments will be calibrated and the data they produce validated, before becoming operational.

It will be operated from EUMETSAT’s headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

“Meteosat Third Generation is a European success story,” Evans said. “No European nation could afford to develop and operate such a system on its own. By combining the resources of our 30 member states, including their scientific and technical expertise, we are able to bring about a new era in weather and climate monitoring.”

More information about MTG-I1 can be found here.

Brochure containing facts and figures and other information about the MTG system can be found here.

The full Meteosat Third Generation constellation will comprise two imaging satellites and, for the first time, a sounding satellite. MTG – Sounder 1, is expected to be launched in 2024.

MTG-I1 was built by Thales Alenia Space under contract by the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA is responsible for procuring the satellites from industry fulfilling EUMETSAT’s requirements.

Thales Alenia Space Cannes is the prime industrial partner for the development of the MTG-I satellites. TAS works in close cooperation with:

  • OHB-Bremen, which assembled, integrated and tested the platform
  • LEONARDO in Italy, which provided the Lightning Imager instrument
  • Thales Alenia Space Italy, which delivered the Data Collection and GEO SAR instruments
  • Thales Alenia Space Cannes also integrated the Flexible Combined Imager.

For more information, visit the EUMETSAT website.

Image credit: ESA, CNES, Arianespace