Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Storms, Etna Eruption, Australian Floods: EUMETSAT Extends Coverage Of Direct Readout Of Metop Data

EUMETSAT has extended the existing coverage of direct readout of data from the instruments on board its Metop polar-orbiting satellite via the Advanced High Resolution Picture Transmission (AHRPT) system, making the data available to more users globally.

“This is good news for users around the world who can benefit from the real-time transmission of Metop data,” said the EUMETSAT Director-General, Dr. Lars Prahm.

Metop-A AVHRR observes the record floods in the government area of Rockhampton (Queensland, Australia), along the winding Fitzroy River and the discharge into the sea.

Metop-A AVHRR observes the record floods in the government area of Rockhampton (Queensland, Australia), along the winding Fitzroy River and the discharge into the sea.

 Credit: EUMETSAT


With this initiative, AHRPT coverage is now being extended beyond the limited area over the North Atlantic and Europe covered by the operational AHRPT service since it was resumed at the beginning of 2009 following the onboard failure of the system on Metop-A. In July 2007, the satellite’s Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA) stopped working due to heavy ion radiation affecting a power transistor.

Brisbane Flood: The city of Brisbane faces a partial evacuation as fresh rainfall brings more flooding to the region. In Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, flash floods resulted in multiple fatalities on Monday following heavy rains
The city of Brisbane faces a partial evacuation as fresh rainfall brings more flooding to the region. In Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, flash floods resulted in multiple fatalities on Monday following heavy rains.
Credit: Metop A

The extended AHRPT service now includes ascending orbits and covers much of Africa, Asia and the Pacific Ocean, in addition to the North Atlantic and Europe, thus reaching more users worldwide. The ascending orbits will be made while maintaining the same operational restrictions over the polar caps and South Atlantic Earth Magnetic Anomaly. More stringent risk reduction measures will be taken than for the descending passes because the Fast Dump Extract System covers the Northern Hemisphere with dumps on Svalbard during the satellite’s northbound passes, resulting in very little delay between the time of the observation and the dump itself for the northern regions and offering a safe and competitive alternative to AHRPT.


Etnas brief eruption beginning at around 21:30 UTC was observed by Meteosat-9. The eruption produced a mixed ice and SO2 cloud, and a faintly visible lava hot spot at the site of the eruption. Initial analysis does not indicate the presence of ash.

Etnas brief eruption beginning at around 21:30 UTC was observed by Meteosat-9. The eruption produced a mixed ice and SO2 cloud, and a faintly visible lava hot spot at the site of the eruption. Initial analysis does not indicate the presence of ash.

Credit: EUMETS

The SSPA components on the future Metop-B and -C satellites are being modified to cope with the radiation that adversely affected Metop-A. The AHRPT sub-system on these satellites is being fully re-engineered to ensure the continued availability of AHRPT data once they are launched in 2012 and 2016, respectively.

The first major winter cyclone over the eastern Mediterranean Sea brings long expected rains to the Middle East, causing stormy seas along the Egyptian coastline and a large scale dust outbreak over Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The first major winter cyclone over the eastern Mediterranean Sea brings long expected rains to the Middle East, causing stormy seas along the Egyptian coastline and a large scale dust outbreak over Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Credit: EUMESAT

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 26 European Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and five Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, and Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8 and -9 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-6 and -7 over the Indian Ocean.

Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, was launched in October 2006 and has been delivering operational data since 15 May 2007.

The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008, added ocean surface topography to the missions EUMETSAT conducts.

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites make a significant contribution to weather forecasting and to the monitoring of the global climate.


Megi, a category 5 super typhoon shortly before it hit the Philippines, crossing the island of Luzan. It then become a category 2 typhoon as it headed towards southern China in October 2010 (source: SMHI). 

18 October 2010
Megi, a category 5 super typhoon shortly before it hit the Philippines, crossing the island of Luzan. It has since become a category 2 typhoon as it heads towards southern China (source: SMHI).


Source: EUMETSAT 

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