The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities
C.2.1 Planned Weather and Climate Satellite Systems Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) Facts in Brief Country: EU
Operations: EUMETSAT (with ESA funding for initial research and development activities) Status: Under study, planned launch date for first spacecraft is 2017 Mission Duration: Access to space-acquired meteorological data until, at least, the late 2030s. Coverage: Arctic circumpolar region Orbit: two parallel in orbit positioned satellites, the MTG-I (imager) and MTG-S (sounder) platforms. Key Service Areas: Improved imagery at 10-minute full disc repeat cycles, in addition to the provision of data from the MTG infrared and ultraviolet/visible sounding missions which will be crucial for the derivation of quantitative products in future. Web link: http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Satellites/MeteosatThirdGeneration/index.htm?l=en The Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) objective is to bring a significant improvement to the capabilities of operational meteorology. It will comprise six satellites, with the first spacecraft likely to be ready for launch from 2017. The in-orbit configuration will consist of two parallel positioned satellites, the MTG-I (imager) and the MTG-S (sounder) platforms. Unlike the first and second generation Meteosat series, MTG will be based on three axes stabilized platforms, meaning the instruments will be pointed at the Earth for 100% of their in orbit time. Such improvements are necessary to meet more demanding user requirements on spatial resolution; repeat cycle, signal to noise ratio; and are a prerequisite to conduct soundings from geostationary orbit. The planned MTG imaging capability will include a 3-tonne satellite with 16 nominal channels. MTG adds a second platform, a sounding satellite to observe the different layers within the atmosphere. The sounder will be one of the key innovations in the new program allowing Meteosat satellites, for the first time, to not just image weather systems but to analyze the atmosphere layer-by-layer and perform far more detailed chemical composition studies. Temperature, wind, precipitation, humidity, ice/snow coverage, clouds, water, improved severe weather forecasts, air quality monitoring, atmospheric monitoring. Current weather satellite systems that look to the Polar Regions employ Low-Earth orbits that provide high–quality spatial resolution information over high latitudes but on a narrow flight pattern, sometimes taking 6 hours before the same area is imaged again. This mission will address many of the deficiencies of the current systems. In addition to improved imagery at 10-minute full disc repeat cycles, the provision of data from the MTG infrared and ultraviolet/visible sounding missions will be crucial for the derivation of improved quantitative products related to environmental forecasting. This will assist in monitoring Arctic interests ranging from oil and gas exploration to managing natural habitats and maintaining indigenous ways of life. Country: Russia Operations: Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) Status: Under study, planned launch date 2014 Mission Duration: Unknown Coverage: Arctic circumpolar region Orbit: Highly elliptical 12-hour Molniya orbit to monitor high-altitude areas of the Earth. Key Service Areas: climate change monitoring, meteorological observations, broadband communications, survey of energy resources Web link: http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=10111&hl=arktika The Arktika system, estimated to be worth around 70 billion rubles ($2.5 billion US), will monitor climatic changes, survey energy resources in the Arctic region as well as provide high-speed communications services. The system has been recently approved by the Russian Economic Development Agency and according to ROSCOSMOS has also received support from the World Meteorological Organization. The new Arctic Satellite cluster will be based on already operational remote-sensing weather and telecommunication satellites and will also receive radio signals from the COSPAS-SARSAT international search and rescue (SAR) system. The planned system will be comprised of six satellites that will feature optical systems; the Arktika-R satellites will carry radars, particularly important during polar nights, and the Arktika-MS telecommunications satellites will handle telephone communications and relay television and FM radio broadcasts to aircraft and ships in northern Russia and other polar countries.
Relevance to Arctic Interests
Arktika Facts in Brief
Temperature, wind, precipitation, humidity, ice/snow coverage, clouds, water
The purely civilian system will monitor the weather and environment of the North Pole, pinpoint hydrocarbon deposits on the Arctic shelf, provide telecommunications over the hard-to-access areas and ensure safe air traffic and commercial shipping in the region. There has been some indication that Canada, as well as Italy and a number of Asian countries, have shown interest in the project.
Relevance to Arctic Interests
CONTRIBUTION OF SPACE TECHNOLOGIES TO ARCTIC POLICY PRIORITIES 86
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