Meteosat images

Last update: Oct. 2016


Meteosat images are disseminated by EUMETCast service every 15 min. EUMETCast is EUMETSAT's data distribution service.
After image collection, the images are sent down to Darmstadt in Germany for geometrical rectifications and radiometric calibration. Images are then sent back to Meteosat, and EUMETCast consists of transmitting via EutelSat's HotBird-6 satellite in GEO located at 13º E longitude for dissemination. The service was initiated at the end of April 2003 utilizing data file distribution via DVB-S (Digital Video Broadcast-Satellite) to a wide audience thanks to reception stations (dishes) located within the geographical coverage zone. Since early 2011, MINES ParisTech and Transvalor propose a duplicated and synchronized acquisition chain, with two dishes installed on each of their premice rooftops.

Current Meteosat operational satellite is the 3rd satellite of Meteosat Second Generation (MSG-3), also named Meteosat-10. For more information on the status of current satellites, please take a look to the page maintained by the World Meteorological Organization.


The Meteosat satellites are geostationnary, i.e. they operate in equatorial orbits at an altitude of 35 790 kilometers above the surface of Earth. The size of the image is 3712 by 3712 pixels. You need approx. 354 000 pixels to cover the whole Europe, 307 000 for the Arabian Peninsula, 63 000 for Turkey and 48 000 for France.

Don't hesitate to   to receive for free the locations of the centers of the Meteosat pixels in latitude and longitude in a CSV file.

Latest Meteosat satellites (extracted from WMO page)

Sector Name Channels Longitude Details

East Atlantic

Fig. 1: Meteosat East Atlantic field of view

Meteosat Third Generation 16 channels: 8  between 0.4 µm to 2.1 µm (1 km spatial resolution), and 8 in the thermal spectral domain between 3.8 µm to 13.3 µm (2 km).
  • MTG-1 is scheduled to be orbited in 2019
1 km (for High Resolution Visible) and 3 km (2 visible, 1 Near InfraRed, 6 InfraRed and 2 Water Vapor) -3.5°
  • Commissioning completed on 16 December 2015. 
  • In storage until 2018, but ready for operations if required before that date.
  • Initially placed at 3.4°, it has replaced Meteosat-9 at 0° as of 21 January 2013.
  • Primary operational satellite at 0° as of 11 April 2007.  Replaced by Meteosat-10 as of 21 January 2013.  Rapid Scan Service taken over from Meteosat-8 in April 2013.

Indian ocean

 Fig. 2: Meteosat Indian Ocean field of view

(Operational from 1 Feb. 2017)
  • Re-location of Meteosat-8 over the Indian Ocean (15-09-2016)
  • Since then, parallel operations with Meteosat-7 IODC will take place, until a final transition to Meteosat-8 IODC in February 2017
2.5 km (for the channel VIS/HRV) and 5 km (for the IR and the WV channels) 57.5°
  • Re-location of Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean (05-12-2006).
  • To operate in parallel with Meteosat-8 IODC untill February 2017


Exact spatial resolution

The spatial resolution is the size of the projection a MSG pixel onto the Earth surface. It depends on the latitude and longitude of this projection. For MSG, the spatial resolution is illustrated by Fig. 3. The nadir, i.e. the point of the Earth surface located just below the satellite, is (lat, lon) = (0°,0°) and corresponds to the center of the image. The spatial resolution at nadir is 3 km and is decreasing as we moved away from this point. The resolution ranges from 3 km to more than 12 km on the edges of the planet.

The size of a Meteosat pixel projected on the Earth surface is computed as follow:
  rt is the radius of the earth (≈ 6378 km)
  δlatij the variation in latitude in radians seen by the MSG pixel ij
  δlonij idem for the longitude
  latij is the latitude in radians of the pixel ij
As δlatijδlonij<<1, the spatial resolution in the north/south direction (Rns) and in the west/east (Rwe) direction are given by:
  Rns = Rt * δlat
  Rwe = Rt * δlon * cos(latij)

Consequently, you obtain the area A of a given country is given by:
  A = Rns * Rwe
   = Σ cos(latij) dlatij dlonij Rt2


Fig. 3: Meteosat spatial resolution. Click on the image to magnify. Copyright MINES ParisTech 2009

Fig. 4: Size of a Meteosat pixel on the Earth surface