This paper introduces the new generation of European geostationary meteorological satellites, Meteosat Second Generation (MSG), scheduled for launch in summer 2002. MSG is spin stabilized, as is the current Meteosat series, however, with greatly enhanced capabilities. The 12-channel imager, called the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI), observes the full disk of the earth with an unprecedented repeat cycle of 15 min. SEVIRI has eight channels in the thermal infrared (IR) at 3.9,6.2,7.3, 8.7, 9.7, 10.8, 12.0, and 13.4 μum; three channels in the solar spectrum at 0.6, 0.8, and 1.6 μm; and a broadband high-resolution visible channel. The high-resolution visible channel has a spatial resolution of 1.67 km at nadir; pixels are oversampled with a factor of 1.67 corresponding to a sampling distance of 1 km at nadir. The corresponding values for the eight thermal IR and the other three solar channels are 4.8-km spatial resolution at nadir and an oversampling factor of 1.6, which corresponds to a sampling distance of 3 km at nadir.
Radiometric performance of all channels exceeds specifications. Thermal IR channels have an onboard calibration with an accuracy better than 1 K. Solar channels are calibrated with an operational vicarious procedure aiming at an accuracy of 5%. Meteorological products are derived in the so-called Satellite Application Facilities (SAF) and in the central Meteorological Product Extraction Facility (MPEF) at the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) in Darmstadt, Germany. The products support nowcasting, numerical weather prediction (NWP), and climatological applications. The most important product for NWP, the atmospheric motion vectors, are derived from different channels to improve data coverage and quality. Novel products are, among others, indices describing the instability of the clear atmosphere and total column ozone. The paper also discusses the use of MSG for future applications, in particular, observations of the rapid cloud development, cloud microphysics, and land applications are considered as areas of high potential. As an additional scientific payload, MSG carries a Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument observing the broadband thermal infrared and solar radiances exiting the earth-atmosphere system.
EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany