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EUMETSAT starts commissioning of the MSG-2 satellite

Today, EUMETSAT will take over control of the second of the new
generation of weather satellites, Meteosat Second Generation (MSG-2)
from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) and immediately start
commissioning operations.

ESOC was responsible for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP)
after the launch of the satellite on 21 December and ensured that the
satellite arrived safely on station at 6.5° West longitude in
geostationary orbit at 36,000 km above the Earth.
From its Control Center in Darmstadt,
EUMETSAT will now activate the onboard instruments, SEVIRI and GERB,
and will verify that all electronic components are performing well. The
first MSG-2 signal was already received by the EUMETSAT commissioning
team on 28 December 2005 from the MSG ground station in Usingen.
During the commissioning period, which
will last until Summer 2006, the satellite and ground systems will be
carefully tested and tuned to prepare it for routine operations.
The first image from MSG-2 is foreseen for
end of January 2006 and dissemination of imagery to the meteorological
user communities for evaluation purposes is expected for spring.
The Meteosat Second Generation satellites
provide improved information and imagery for weather forecasting as
well as other applications such as hydrology, agriculture and
environmental studies. The data collected are routinely used for the
study of weather and climate change and have proven to be vital in the
context of severe weather situations were they help to reduce losses of
human life and property.
Please also view Mikael Rattenborg’s
interview (EUMETSAT Director Operations) on the following webpage:

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of
Meteorological Satellites, is an intergovernmental organisation that
establishes and maintains operational meteorological satellites for 18
European States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom). EUMETSAT
has signed 12 Cooperating State Agreements. Those with Bulgaria,
Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia,
Slovenia and the Czech Republic have entered into force whereas the
Agreement with Serbia and Montenegro and Iceland are to be ratified in
the near future.
EUMETSAT is currently operating Meteosat-6, -7 and -8 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-5 over the Indian Ocean.
The data, product and services from
EUMETSAT’s satellites make a significant contribution to weather
forecasting and to the monitoring of the global climate.
More info at
(Credits Eumetsat)