Feeds

New European weather satellite reaches orbit

Euro space agencies forecast better forecasts

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The European Space Agency (ESA) and European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) have announced the successful launch of a new weather satellite expected to provide a major source of data for weather forecasts.

Metop-B, as the bird is known, ascended on a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome last Monday and entered its expected orbit 820km above Earth. EUMETSAT says it is now poised to take control of the satellite, before putting it through six months of tests it says are “aimed at checking the performance of the satellite in orbit and validating all products extracted from its observations.”

The new satellite replaces Metop-A, which is was launched in 2006 but is now running low on fuel, which makes it hard to make optimal observations. The satellite was nonetheless responsible for 26% of the data used to create numerical weather predictions. That made Metop-A the single largest source of data for forecasters, with the higher-altitude Meteosat, US satellites and sources like weather balloons also helping out. Metop-B will operate while its predecessor still works, but as it is newer is expected to generate better data and therefore help meteorologists to create better forecasts. A third Metop satellite, Metop-C, will launch in 2017.

The Metops are part of a collaboration between US and European space agencies that sees both use some of the same instruments in their respective weather satellites. Data is also shared.

The new Metop is not the only new European space effort of recent weeks, as the new SPOT 6 earth obseervation satellite has also gone aloft. Built by Astrium and launched from India, the new satellite will operate in a constellation with with the forthcoming Spot 7 and Pleaides to collectively deliver the capability to view any spot on earth to a resolution of about 50cm. Spot 6 was launched on September 9th and has lower-resolution kit aboard, but has already beamed back pictures such as the view of Bora Bora below. ®

Bora Bora as seen from the new Spot 6 earth observation satellite

Bora Bora as seen from the new Spot 6 earth observation satellite. Image copyright Atrium.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.