Scientists gather virtually to discuss advances in Earth observation
About 600 scientists meet virtually at EUMETSAT annual conference
About 600 scientists from around the world will next week take part in a virtual conference focusing on the benefits for weather and climate prediction flowing from the renewal of Europe’s meteorological satellite fleets.
17 September 2021
17 September 2021
The EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference 2021, jointly organised and hosted by Europe’s meteorological satellite agency and Romania’s National Meteorological Administration, was initially to take place in Bucharest. Covid-related restrictions forced it online but have created opportunities for greater participation.
“Over the next decade, EUMETSAT will completely renew its satellite fleets on all orbits,” Director-General Phil Evans said.
“These next-generation satellites will carry new and more advanced instruments which will provide significantly more and higher quality data for weather and climate prediction.
“In November last year, the ocean-monitoring Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched. This next-generation satellite, which is operated by EUMETSAT from its Darmstadt headquarters, will provide crucial support for climate change monitoring and the important work carried out by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“All of these advances will create the opportunity for meteorological services in our member states to provide more accurate and timely weather forecasts and climate information to help protect lives and economies. They will also open up possibilities for a whole range of new uses of our data, however, preparation is required.
“This conference is an important part of EUMETSAT’s work with the users of our data to help them prepare for this new era.”
Director-General of Romania’s National Meteorological Administration Dr Elena Mateescu said she hoped the conference would stimulate discussions about collaboration and emerging technologies to support societies and economies across Europe.
“Next-generation satellites bring great opportunities to further improve short-term forecasting, but at the same time there will also be a huge jump in data volume,” Mateescu said.
“Therefore, the development of infrastructures and products that can effectively and efficiently sift through these data to produce accurate nowcasts is a very high priority.
“The conference will be a fantastic opportunity to learn, network and find potential project collaborators. At the same time, it presents a superb way of bringing people together to share ideas, innovate, and work together on the challenges ahead.”
Copernicus Sentinel-6 is a joint mission involving the European Commission, EUMETSAT, the European Space Agency, NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The first of the new-generation satellites in EUMETSAT’s geostationary fleet (Meteosat Third Generation) will be launched at the end of 2022. The first satellite in its next-generation low-Earth-orbiting fleet (EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation) will be launched at the end of 2023.
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