Meteosat images

Meteosat images

Don't hesitate to contact us to receive for free the locations of the centers or corners of the Meteosat (Nadir at 0°,0°) pixels in latitude and longitude in a CSV file.

The path of Meteosat (Nadir at 0°,0°) images, from satellite to rooftop dishes

Meteosat images are disseminated every 15 min.
After image collection, the images are sent down to Darmstadt in Germany for geometrical rectifications and radiometric calibration. Images are sent back to Meteosat, and then transmitted to 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.

Meteosat image (Nadir 0°,0°) characteristics and spatial resolution

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 contact us to receive for free the locations of the centers and corners of the Meteosat pixels in latitude and longitude in a CSV file.

Corners of MSG pixels for Corsica

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 on the right hand side. 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

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

Size of a MSG pixel on the Earth surface

Current Meteosat satellites


East Atlantic

Fig. 1: Meteosat East Atlantic field of view

Meteosat Third Generation16 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).
Meteosat-11 (Operational)
1 km (for High Resolution Visible) and 3 km (2 visible, 1 Near InfraRed, 6 InfraRed and 2 Water Vapor)
  • Commissioning completed on 16 December 2015.
  • 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
Meteosat-72.5 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).
  • Operated in parallel with Meteosat-8 IODC up to February 2017