I have been using the weather satellite station now for about 4 weeks and the temporary licenses on the software is about to run out. The time is now here to decide which of the packages I should invest my cash in first. I would like to dive in and buy the lot but lack of funds makes this impossible at present.
For weather prediction I have to say that MSG Data Manager is a must have as it processes the images for the geostationary satellites and gives a live, constantly updated (every 15 mins) view of Europe and the rest of the world.
That said, the high-resolution images to be grabbed using AVHRR Manager are extremely interesting for land imaging and you can get excellent piccies of icebergs around Greenland, the shrinking of the Aral Sea, dust-storms in North Africa and piles of other fascinating stuff. The only problem I had was the limited range of the high-res images available – really just the North Atlantic, Europe, North Africa and the North Pole. Why can’t we have access to the rest of the world data which must be floating around out there?
Then I looked at David Taylor’s Metop Manager which processes images from the Metop-A Polar Orbiting satellite and realised that not only is it possible to get worldwide high-res images, but I had been gathering the data for the last month but didn’t realise it.
I have started a 30-Day trial of Metop Manager and can now pull in high res daylight pictures of the whole world, including the Antarctic! This, despite being less useful for forecasting purposes, is definitely a must have.
The only downside I can see is that you could spend your whole life from now on sifting through the hundreds of Gigabytes of HRPT images which are flooding in every week.
Image below of New Zealand in the sunshine from 21st September 2012.