Today, EUMETSAT and ESA signed a cooperation agreement that secures the development of the Metop Second Generation satellites which form the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System of Second Generation. The EPS-SG system will deliver vital meteorological observations from polar orbit in the 2021-2042 timeframe.
Monday, 05 October 2015
This latest landmark in the long-standing cooperation was signed by EUMETSAT’s Director-General, Alain Ratier, and Volker Liebig, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes.
Alain Ratier, the EUMETSAT Director-General, said: “With the EUMETSAT Polar System of Second Generation, our ambition is to further increase the accuracy of forecasts of the weather and the environment in the next decades. For this, we need very innovative Metop-SG satellites, not only to improve all observations already available from the current Metop satellites, but also to provide new observations, and we count on ESA to develop these satellites.”
Johann Dietrich Wörner, Director General of ESA, said, “This agreement shows the trust and confidence that the Member States have in the way ESA and EUMETSAT cooperate to make Europe a leader in satellite meteorology.
“The Metop-SG satellites will maintain Europe’s leading edge in the development of meteorological systems, instruments, technologies and applications, and in the provision of weather forecasting and monitoring services.”
EPS-SG will be operated as a two-satellite system with an atmospheric sounding and optical imaging mission on Metop-SG-A and a microwave imaging mission on Metop-SG-B. Each series will consist of three satellites to provide 21 years of operations. The first A satellite is planned to be launched in mid 2021, followed by the first B satellite 18 months later.
Through this agreement, the successful cooperation model that has been developed between the two organisations is formalised for EPS-SG:
- ESA is responsible for the development of the Metop-SG satellites fulfilling user and system requirements defined by EUMETSAT and for the procurement of the recurrent satellites on its behalf;
- EUMETSAT procures all launch services and develops the ground systems required to control the satellites, acquire and process their data and deliver products and services to users in response to their evolving needs. It also integrates and tests the full system that it will operate over two decades for the benefit of users.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).
EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.
EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States.
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital inputs to forecasts of the weather and the environment and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of climate change.
From 2016 onwards, EUMETSAT will exploit the Copernicus Sentinel-3 marine mission in cooperation with ESA and on behalf of the EU, and deliver data services to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.
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The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 21 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 19 are Member States of the EU.
One other Member State of the EU, Hungary, has signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention and, upon ratification, will soon become the 22nd ESA Member State.
ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU.
Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.
Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
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