July 27, 2011
EUMETSAT and its international partners celebrate 25th anniversary and bid farewell to Dr. Lars Prahm
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, EUMETSAT, holds the main celebratory event for its 25th anniversary at its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, on 28 July.
The actual anniversary was on 19 June, but the celebratory event is being held to coincide with the departure of the outgoing Director-General, Dr. Lars Prahm, who will be succeeded by Alain Ratier on 29 July. The anniversary event will be attended by former EUMETSAT Directors-General, Council chairmen, and representatives of the European organisations and international partners with which EUMETSAT has developed ever increasing cooperation over its 25 years of existence. Following the welcoming address by Dr. Prahm, Declan Murphy, Council Chairman in 2004-2008 and author of the latest EUMETSAT history book, along with the first two Directors-General, John Morgan and Dr. Tillmann Mohr, will trace the organisation’s origins, history and achievements.
Among the European speakers are Dr. Volker Liebig, Director of Earth Observation Programmes at the European Space Agency (ESA), who will focus on the successful synergy between EUMETSAT and ESA, and Heinz Zourek, Director-General for Enterprise and Industry in the European Commission, who will talk about EUMETSAT and the Commission in the context of the European Space Policy and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES).
Mary Glackin, Deputy Under Secretary for Operations of the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will present the US-European relationship in satellite meteorology as a model for transatlantic partnerships. Dr. Jun Yang, Director-General of the China Meteorological Administration’s National Satellite Meteorological Centre, will speak about EUMETSAT’s growing cooperation with China, Sateesh Kumar, Counsellor for Space at the Indian Embassy in Paris, about real-time data exchange between EUMETSAT and India, and Dr. Valery Dyadyuchenko, Deputy Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet) about his organisation’s cooperation with EUMETSAT. M. Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), will place EUMETSAT within the WMO framework.
The last guest speaker will be Petteri Taalas, the current EUMETSAT Council Chairman, reviewing Dr. Prahm’s achievements as seen by Member States.
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-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.