March 22, 2012
Second phase of activities gives new impulse to SAFs
The second Continuous Development and Operations Phase (CDOP-2) for EUMETSAT’s Satellite Application Facility (SAF) network which began this month will improve and expand the portfolio of SAF products and services over the next five years.
CDOP-2 follows the successful CDOP-1 over the last five years, during which the eight SAFs developed high-quality products and distributed them to users, benefitting EUMETSAT Member and Cooperating States and a worldwide user community.
During CDOP-2, the eight SAFs will continue the operational delivery of data products developed during CDOP-1 and will also conduct the necessary improvements. In addition, new products will respond to the evolving needs of the European Meteorological Services and other users.
As the SAFs are an integral component of the overall EUMETSAT application ground segment, during CDOP-2, they will prepare for the exploitation of the potential of the next generation of EUMETSAT satellites, Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and the EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG), taking advantage of enhanced and completely new sensors. They will begin the scientific definition and development of MTG and EPS-SG products, work which will be finalised during CDOP-3 between 2017 and 2022, when these satellites become operational.
CDOP-2 activities and the expansion of product portfolios will contribute to relevant international initiatives. This includes Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and the World Meteorological Organization’s Sustained, Coordinated Processing of Environmental Satellite Data for Climate Monitoring (SCOPE-CM) initiative.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 27 European Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia (pending ratification), 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 four Cooperating States (Bulgaria, 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 monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the missions EUMETSAT conducts.
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.