What Is a Weather Satellite?

weather satelliteHere at Meteo Online, we want to give you the best and most accurate weather forecasts every hour and every day. This is why we partner with the best institutions who are experts in weather devices and weather interpretations. One of the most reliable equipment that they use is a weather satellite. These satellites cost millions of dollars to launch and to use. Even if voucher codes or special discounts are available, only a few could afford to use weather satellites to predict the weather. What exactly are weather satellites?


A weather satellite is a kind of satellite that is primarily focused on capturing data to measure specific parameters to predict or forecast the weather. It can also be used to determine behavioral patterns to understand climates on earth. Weather satellites can move in two ways. It can do polar-orbiting in which it circles the earth. Or it can just be stationary wherein it captures one spot throughout its stay in space. Either way, weather satellites provide substantial data for meteorologists to observe, understand, and interpret the behavior of the weather.

The scientists in the 1940s proposed the use of cameras to capture the weather that occurs around the world. It was limited but, at least, it was something that meteorologists can use to predict the weather. Fortunately, ten years later, the first weather satellite was launched and utilized.

weather cloud

What does it use to determine the weather?

The main device that is attached to weather satellites that are used to analyze the weather is the microwave radiometer. A microwave radiometer is basically a device that measures the electromagnetic thermal radiation that is being emitted by atmospheric gases around the world. This device is very accurate and very sensitive. Through the thermal radiation, the device analyzes and measures it in the form of blackbody temperature. A microwave radiometer is not just used in weather forecasting but also radio propagation and astronomy studies.

The microwave radiometer is composed of an antenna system, radiofrequency part, and components for analysis of data recovered. Since the signal that it receives from the atmosphere is very weak, it needs to be amplified or enlarged. The microwave radiometer has special components to do the amplification.