March 24, 2011
Cornerstone laid for New Infrastructure Building
The cornerstone of EUMETSAT’s New Infrastructure Building (NIB) was laid during a ceremony on 24 March.
In his opening remarks, the EUMETSAT Director-General, Dr. Lars Prahm, said, “Once this new infrastructure building is available in March next year, we will for the first time in EUMETSAT history be able to accommodate all the Darmstadt-based computing facilities of the different ground segments in one dedicated location.”
All construction work is progressing well and remains on schedule for completion in March 2012, after which this modern, high-tech building will host the technical infrastructure necessary to operate current and future satellite programmes, including Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG) and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). Dr. Prahm said, “our infrastructure on the ground will have to develop in line with the one in space.”
The cornerstone laying ceremony was attended by representatives from German federal, regional and local authorities, as well as guests from industry and the scientific communities, plus representatives of the NIB project team and of the general contractor. Representing EUMETSAT was senior management, heads of division and the NIB planning team.
In addition to the welcoming remarks by the EUMETSAT Director-General, speeches were given by the Minister of Economics, Transportation and Urban Development of the State of Hesse, Dieter Posch; the President of the Deutscher Wetter Dienst (DWD), the German Weather Service, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Adrian; and the Lord Mayor of the City of Darmstadt, Walter Hoffmann.
This important occasion was marked by the symbolic act of sealing a copper cylinder time capsule containing coins, newspapers and general information about EUMETSAT in a cavity in the cornerstone as a historical legacy for future generations.
The location of the NIB is south of the EUMETSAT headquarters facility and the two buildings will be linked by a tunnel.
The land has been provided to EUMETSAT under an agreement between Germany and the State of Hesse.
Gross floor space 4,300 m2
Overall project cost €13.3 million
Scheduled completion date March 2012
Planning team Architecture: Pielok-Marquardt-Architekten, Offenbach
General contractor Leonhard Weiss GmbH & Co. KG, Satteldorf
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 26 European Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and five Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, and Serbia).
EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8 and -9 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-6 and -7 over the Indian Ocean.
Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, was launched in October 2006 and has been delivering operational data since 15 May 2007.
The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008, added ocean surface topography to the missions EUMETSAT conducts.
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites make a significant contribution to weather forecasting and to the monitoring of the global climate.