EUMETSAT's EUMETCast service overview
There was a problem with MSG-1's power amplifiers during the early phase of commissioning requiring an alternative means for disseminating MSG data to be found. Trials of MSG data via what is now called EUMETCast (EUMETSAT's Multicast Distribution System) began at the end of April 2003. It is transmitted by EUTELSAT's 10A satellite stationed at 10°E. using the DVB-S2 format used by digital satellite TV. The trial period, designed to fully test the system infrastructure, ended in late 2003 and the service became fully operational as the primary 0° longitude service in late January 2004.
The EUMETCast service has expanded from the early days of Europe only to:
EUMETCast-Europe via EUTELSAT 10A in Ku-band (the original) to
EUMETCast-Africa via Atlantic Bird-3 in C-band and
EUMETCast-Americas via NSS-806 in C-band and
carries Meteosat-10 HRIT/LRIT and meteorological product data
+ foreign satellite data - Meteosat-7 Indian Ocean Data Coverage, GOES-E, GOES-W and MTSAT
+ Meteosat-9 Rapid Scanning Europe
+ NOAA-18 and 19 regional AVHRR data and global GAC data and NOAA ATOVS data
+ Metop global AVHRR data.
Services from EUMETCast-Africa and EUMETCast-Americas differ slightly in content from EUMETCast-Europe.
EUMETSAT document EUM TD 15 will give a full overview of the system.
System hardware requirements.
The SR1 Advanced DVB-S/S2 Receiver for EUMETCast Reception.
The main component of the system is the receiver. Available from the GEO Shop is the Ayecka SR1' an advanced DVB-S2 VCM Receiver for the new EUMETCast delivery system. This is an IP receiver and is linked to your PC via an Ethernet cable.
You will also need the TELLICAST software CD-ROM supplied by EUMETSAT once you have registered, for installing the TELLICAST and dongle software [see below].
The receiving antenna is the familiar offset satellite TV type dish. An 85 cm is recommended by EUMETSAT for most of Europe with a good quality standard Universal digital satellite TV LNB.
Good quality satellite TV coax cable between the dish and the receiver is required, such as CT100. Care should be taken when stapling and routeing this cable as digital signals can suffer losses due to sharp bends or cable constriction. Setting up the dish to Eutelsat 10A at 10°E is not too difficult if you have a satellite TV level meter at the dish such as the TechniSat SatFinder meter. This meter is very sensitive and useful. It won’t however tell you which satellite you are pointed at though. Alternatively using an analogue satellite TV receiver and a TV at the dish speeds things up – you always ‘see’ a ‘picture’ as you adjust your dish – unlike digital TV where you have to wait for the picture to lock-up before it is displayed.
For those used to prime focus dishes remember offset dishes do not ‘point’ directly at the satellite in the elevation sense. They are much flatter towards the horizon owing to the offset feed configuration.
The Ayecka SR1 has a console utility allowing one to fine tune reception.
If you read EUMETSAT's EUMETCast Overview document EUM TD 15 contained on the TELLICAST CD-ROM and available online: EUM TD 15 - you will see the system is based on a 2 PC set-up - there is now a vast amount of data disseminated via this service. However the majority of amateur users given modern day computer specifications are able to receive - and display - all services using a one computer set-up.
Software requirements for reception and display of MSG data.
To receive the EUMETCast service you will need this software tq®-TELLICAST . This handles the data stream which is sent in packets and then converted into files. The software is supplied on a CD with an installation guide and the required USB dongle by EUMETSAT following successful registration for a cost of 100 € (EKU & Software). You will also be sent your username and password - required for setting up this software.Register for EUMETCast
Image display software.
Some of the imaging in the EUMETCast service uses different formats, so a suite of software is required to display all the products.
Rob Alblas has free software, xrit2pic, for display of EUMETCast products: see his website: www.alblas.demon.nl/wsat/index.html
Many amateurs including GEO members took part in the early trials of the 'EUMETCast' service using only one computer. A great deal ofvaluable operational data was fed back to EUMETSAT from the varied user station set-ups. These experiences, gathered from amateurs since the trials began in late April 2003, as to how the system is performing and what equipment/operating software people are using, have allowed EUMETSAT to tweak and update the service. User information has and continues to been fed back to EUMETSAT. This has proved very useful,given the different configurations of user stations.
EUMETSAT remian keen to have feedback on users' experiences in order to correct any anomalies and/or make the service more user friendly. Users should give feedback on their experiences to the User Service at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharing of user experiences; help, advice and problem solving are available on: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MSG-1/ . You are recommended to join this group run by Arne van Belle, Douglas Deans and David Taylor.
The footprint above illustrates the general coverage of the new service.
The required antenna sizes depend on reception station location, the EIRP,
the typical weather patterns and the selected DVB-S2 parameters (e.g. MODCOD,
The basic service can be received with the currently installed antennas in most areas across the footprint.
For the High Volume Service larger antennas are required, but at clear sky conditions even the Basic Service antennas might be usable. Please select the following link to display the required antenna sizes depending on the availability. An antenna size for 99.98% or better availability is recommended.
The plots show the yearly availability taking into account typical weather patterns for standard antenna sizes. Professional users should aim for 99.98% availability.
Click for a bigger picture. This picture is still only one sixteenth the size (number of pixels) of the received image.