The programme will have an operational life of approximately 20 years and will comprise six satellites: 4 Imaging (MTG-I) and 2 sounding (MTG-S).
The MTG-I satellites will have a Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) on board, but the big news is the Lightning Imager (LI), Leonardo’s “lightning meter” capable of “seeing” rapid flashes of lightning in the atmosphere from a distance of more than 36,000 km. The MTG-S satellites, instead, will host the Infrared Sounder (IRS) and Copernicus Sentinel-4.
The MTG satellites will bring about a significant improvement in the ability to observe meteorological phenomena, ensuring higher-level forecasting capabilities, particularly for the difficult task of “nowcasting”: the very short-term monitoring and forecasting of rapidly evolving and potentially harmful meteorological phenomena.
The first MTG-I satellite was placed in orbit on 13 December 2022 by an Ariane 5 from Arianespace. The satellite is being developed by Thales Alenia Space, in collaboration with OHB. The launch of the second MTG-I element is scheduled for 2025.