July 3, 2006
EUMETSAT celebrates its 20th anniversary
The official programme of events celebrating EUMETSAT’s 20th anniversary kicks off today at the 59th Council Meeting, which takes place at the organisation’s Darmstadt headquarters.
Representatives from the German federal and country governments, the World Meteorological Organization, the European Commission, the European Space Agency and the international meteorological community will deliver speeches commemorating this special event to the audience of Council delegates and VIP guests.
In the two decades since its foundation on 19 June 1986 the organisation has become one of the world’s pre-eminent meteorological and environmental satellite organisations, serving the interests of Europe’s National Meteorological Services as well as an ever-growing community of international users. For more information about how EUMETSAT has developed over the years please visit our history pages.
‘The success of EUMETSAT is very much the success story of meteorology itself,’ says Dr. Lars P. Prahm, Director-General. ‘Powerful super-computers, increasingly sophisticated Numerical Weather Prediction models and the highly reliable, superb quality satellite data and images provided by EUMETSAT’s fleet of satellites have resulted in radically improved weather forecasts as well as a better understanding of climate and the environment.
‘Our latest generation of Meteosat satellites, the second of which was launched last December, has greatly enhanced our support to Europe’s National Meteorological Services and their capability to accurately predict very fast-moving localised fronts of severe weather, helping with disaster prevention and mitigation and thereby saving many more lives and property.’
EUMETSAT is securing its service for the future with the forthcoming launch on 17 July of MetOp-2, the inaugural satellite of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS), Europe’s first polar-orbiting meteorological satellite service. Planned programmes such as the Jason-2 Ocean Surface Topography mission and the Meteosat Third Generation, as well as the Post-EPS programmes, will further assure EUMETSAT’s service for the long-term.
The organisation is also poised to significantly extend its objective to become the operational satellite agency of choice for European Earth Observation programmes for atmosphere and oceans such as the strategically important Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative led by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.
EUMETSAT is currently operating Meteosat-6, -7 and -8 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-5 over the Indian Ocean.
The data, product and services from EUMETSAT’s satellites make a significant contribution to weather forecasting and to the monitoring of the global climate.