MTG User Test Data

To support the user community in their preparations for receiving and processing the MTG data test data are being made available.

To ensure user readiness, it extremely important that users have access to data that will, in a best possible way, resemble the data that will be available from the future instruments.

Test data of that kind should have the best possible maturity in data content and in format specifications attached to different data. This is valid both for the pre-launch development period and during post-launch commissioning activities.

User test data can take different form, for instance having more or less scientific values, formats and sizes. However, different test data can be associated with different user preparation processes, from tailoring of data acquisition systems to visualisation and utilisation of the satellite data in an operational environment.

Released test data packages and support data

Two simulated Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) Level 1C datasets have been released, with the aim of familiarising users with the format of the data to be distributed.

This is the second version of the FCI Level 1C datasets. The first version was released in July 2015. This version is identical to the first version in terms of format and content, with the only difference being that the radiance data are compressed with the CharLS algorithm, as they will be when disseminated to users via EUMETCast during MTG operations.

These compressed datasets are provided mainly to allow testing of the data decompression (See section ‘Package Usage’ below).

The datasets are:

  • A High Resolution Fast Imagery (HRFI) Level 1C dataset: 2.5 minutes duration, four channels, local Earth coverage (LAC4).
  • A Full Disk High Spectral Imagery (FDHSI) Level 1C dataset: 10 minutes duration, 16 channels, full Earth coverage.

Together with the datasets, the following is provided:

  • Test data package description
  • FCI L1 Dataset User Guide

A separate folder contains the decompression plug-in, together with an installation guide and a user guide.

On the FDHSI Level 1C Dataset (Figure 1), the masked area, in grey, does not contain any radiance information; the registered radiances are localised within an elliptic area defined with respect to a fixed projection grid. This area is slightly smaller than the solid Earth extent, as seen from the nominal spacecraft position.

On the HRFI Level 1C Dataset (Figure 2), the registered radiances are localised in a portion of an elliptic area (not necessarily exactly the same as the FHDSI when it comes from a different spacecraft). The bottom limit is a slanted line with an orientation depending on the satellite yaw configuration.

Figure 1: FDHSI Level 1C Dataset, Visible 0.6 µm channel
Figure 2: HRFI Level 1C Dataset, Infrared 3.8 µm channel

Dataset description

The term 'dataset' refers to a number of files associated to a FCI Repeat Cycle. Each dataset is divided into several body chunk netCDF-4 files, one trailer chunk netCDF-4 file, and one RGB composite quick-look png file.

These datasets are only intended for format familiarisation. As such, their content, while having the broad characteristics of an operational dataset, is not meant to be used for scientific processing or validation. Plus many of the more detailed physical characteristics of an actual FCI Level 1C dataset may be absent or inaccurate.

Package Usage

FTP access:

The radiance data are compressed with the CharLS algorithm. Decompression software is provided on the FTP.

Planned Test Data Packages and Support Data


FCI L1 Format Familiarisation — Q4 2018

Updated FCI-1C-RRAD format specification. Content with higher representativity and edge cases (missing data). Mature but not final format (which expected early 2019).

IRS L1B Format Familiarisation — Q1 2019

Updated IRS-1B-SSS format specification based on MAG feedback. Mature but not final format.

LI Level 2 User Familiarisation — Q4 2018

Products based on updated LI Level 2 formats with representative content.


Test Data are released exclusively for the purposes of facilitating user-preparedness. They are not to be used for operational purposes, nor are they to be cited in scientific publications or disclosed through unauthorised public channels and internet platforms. For further information please consult the relevant Terms of Use.

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