First MTG-I satellite with Thales gear successfully launched

December 16, 2022

The first Meteosat Third Generation Imager (MTG-I) satellite has been successfully launched. The MTG satellites are a collaborative venture between European Space Agency (ESA) and EUMETSAT. They will make near real-time weather forecasts using meteorological data collected from space. This way, extreme weather events for the upcoming 20 years can be predicted more quickly. Thales Alenia Space cooperated with OHB to build the satellites, and our cryogenics experts supplied compressors for the cryogenic coolers that are mounted on-board.

Meteosat Third Generation Imager

The satellite was launched from Kourou, French Guiana. It is the first in a series of six satellites (4 imaging satellites and 2 sounding satellites) that are of great importance for making near real-time weather forecasts. In addition, the satellite will be used for scientific research into extreme weather conditions and climate change.

Photo: ESA
Photo: ESA

Cryogenic coolers

Two cryogenic coolers have been mounted on-board of the satellite to cool the infrared instrument. These coolers ensure that the temperature of the light-capturing focal plane remains approximately 50 Kelvin (-223 degrees Celsius). Thales supplied compressors for the coolers, which were built in collaboration with Air Liquide Advanced Technologies of France.

The dedicated development and manufacturing team in Eindhoven has been putting a lot of effort into this challenging program for nearly 9 years. The results are extremely positive, as this constellation of satellites will ultimately provide Europe with the best performing weather imaging system in the world.