Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Meteosat-8 Rapid Scanning Service Increases Imagery

Yesterday, Meteosat-8 started the new Rapid Scanning Service (RSS), which replaces the Meteosat-6 RSS which ended in January 2007. Meteosat-8 will deliver Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) image data as well as a selection of meteorological products. Rapid scan data from the new service complements the 15-minute High Resolution Image data generated by the operational Meteosat satellite, Meteosat-9. The scan period is five minutes, compared to 10 minutes for the previous service. It is now the same as that of European weather radars, making it even more useful in monitoring rapidly developing localized, convective weather systems, such as thunder storms. The scan will cover a latitude range of 15° to 70°. The image data and products will be based on the full 12 spectral channels available from MSG.

At the end of April, Meteosat-8 was relocated to 9.5° E, from where it will deliver the new RSS and continue to be a backup satellite for Meteosat-9. The image data service was declared operational on May 13th, with the start date for operational dissemination of RSS meteorological products still to be determined. RSS products will include Atmospheric Motion Vectors extracted every 20 minutes; Clear Sky Radiances extracted every 15 minutes; and Multi-sensor Precipitation Estimate, Active Fire Monitoring, and Global Instability Index extracted every five minutes. They will be distributed via EUMETCast-Europe and on the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Telecommunication System and continue to be archived at EUMETSAT.

The original RSS began in September 2001, using the 1G Meteosat-6. Originally used to support the Mesoscale Alpine Programme, RSS was continued in response to a more general demand from the user community for more frequent imagery over Europe than the standard 30-minute intervals available with 1G Meteosat satellites. RSS, provided by the Meteosat-6 satellite positioned at 10° E, generated image data covering Europe at 10-minute intervals

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