[SatNews] On July 26, at 11:30 CEST, EUMETSAT took control of Europe’s last Meteosat Second Generation weather satellite, MSG-4.
This follows the successful launch of the satellite on July aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, and the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) carried out by ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, on EUMETSAT’s behalf.
During the last 11 days, the satellite was moved into geostationary orbit, the various components which make up the satellite’s platform were activated and their functionality checked. This included a number of critical maneuvers, such as the firing of the apogee motors, the change of spacecraft orientation and the unlocking of the SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager) scan mirror.
Following handover, EUMETSAT will now begin commissioning the satellite and its sensors. Commissioning consists of a two-month phase of satellite check-out and assessment, followed by four months for imaging and product testing, including calibration and validation. After commissioning, MSG-4 will be stored in orbit.
The release of the first image generated by the SEVIRI imager on board MSG-4 in some eight days will be an important milestone.