ESA’s new weather satellite started sending data


ESA’s weather satellite Metop-B in Metop series launched on 17th September is performing well in its polar orbit. ESA’s recent press release states that satellite on its way towards replacing the ageing Metop-A as prime operational satellite in polar orbit, after the six-month commissioning phase.  Four of its onboard instruments AMSU-A, ASCAT, MHS and GRAS are activate and delivering data.

initial data sent by metop-b satellite

ASCAT, Advanced Scatterometer delivers information on near-surface wind speed and direction over the global oceans and soil moisture over land, while the MHS, or Microwave Humidity Sounder delivers information on atmospheric humidity in all-weather conditions.

American Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) is a heritage instrument already flying on the US NOAA satellites, providing temperature soundings in all-weather conditions. The Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding (GRAS) instrument is delivering data which are used to provide atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles by measuring the bending of GPS signals through the atmosphere. This data also helps in determining precise orbit of the Metop-B satellite before and after the nominal stop-drift manoeuvre, in conjunction with traditional ranging and Doppler measurements. These instruments also contribute to the long-term data sets needed for climate studies and monitoring.

Temperature and humidity soundings, wind at the ocean surface, and soil moisture are essential inputs to Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, the basis of modern weather forecasting. The all-weather wind measurements provided by ASCAT are used worldwide to track mid-latitude storms and tropical cyclones.

Source: ESA

Featured image: ESA


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