The first of this new chain, renamed Meteosat-8, was launch into orbit in 2002 and Meteosat-9 three years later. SPECIAL.
Analyze the sunlight reflected by the surface of the Earth.
The satellite is designed to try to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts
Europe's Spaceport in Kourou in (French Guiana),
everything is ready for release today at 21:36 GMT, the third satellite Meteosat Second Generation (MSG- 3), the tenth of the Meteosat family, designed to try to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts.
The MSG-3, to be launched by the telecommunications satellite EchoStar 17 (with coverage in North America), is coupled to the Ariane 5 and ready for takeoff.
The family of MSG is the result of cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).
The first of this new series, renamed Meteosat-8, was launched into orbit in 2002 and Meteosat-9 three years later.
The two have continued to "successfully" the legacy of operational meteorological satellites, starting with Meteosat-1 in 1977, according to the ESA.
The four MSG satellites, the last is scheduled for release in 2015 - compared to their predecessors, generate images of the Earth's surface much sharper in a larger number of spectral bands, 20 times more information by sending twice as fast.
This series takes high resolution images of Europe, North Atlantic and Africa once every 15 minutes, providing key data for the work of meteorologists and national meteorological agencies, including the Spanish Aemet.
The main instrument of these satellites, which also put into orbit today and gradually replace Meteosat-8, SEVIRI is the camera that takes pictures of the Earth's surface.
Thus, this instrument will analyze sunlight reflected from Earth's surface and clouds, the temperature of the earth's surface, seas and clouds, or the radiation emitted by carbon dioxide and ozone dissolved in atmosphere.
This generation of satellites "is capable of monitoring time with the detail and speed needed to predict weather conditions with only a few hours in advance," according to the ESA, remember this fog can send alerts to airports or inform the authorities and citizens of snowfall.
SEVIRI generated images have many other applications including condition monitoring of vegetation and identification of forest fires or dust storms.
It is currently used to warn of new volcanic eruptions in Sicily.
Besides the camera, MSG-3, whose prime contractor Thales Alenia Space, will carry the Gerb instrument which measures, among other parameters, the heat emitted by the Earth, and a search and rescue.
Shortly after taking off from Kourou, MSG-3, with a lifespan of seven years, will be injected into a geostationary orbit at 36 000 kilometers above the Ecuador.