In the presence of Dr Stephen Volz, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Satellite and Information services, the EUMETSAT Council took important decisions for the implementation of the EPS-Second Generation (EPS-SG) and Jason-Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) programmes, both approved this summer and implemented in cooperation with the United States.
Thursday, 03 December 2015
Following the approval of the EUMETSAT EPS-SG programme last June, the Director-General, Mr Alain Ratier, and Dr Stephen Volz, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Satellite and Information Services, signed the agreement on the Joint Polar System (JPS) during the Council session on 2 December. The Joint Polar System involves EUMETSAT and NOAA polar-orbiting satellites (Metop-SG and JPSS) and a shared ground segment, which include European and American high latitude ground stations.
In this context, the Council also approved a contract which will secure the infrastructure and site support required at Svalbard, Spitsbergen, to host and exploit the EUMETSAT ground stations providing Telemetry Tracking and Control (TT&C) and payload data acquisition for all satellites of the Joint Polar System.
After the entry into force of the optional Jason-CS programme on 9 September, the Council welcomed Norway as the 13th Participating State, which increased the coverage of the financial envelope of the programme to 93.07%. In addition, the Council approved the cooperation arrangement to be signed with ESA for the implementation of the programme.
Jason-CS is EUMETSAT’s contribution to the development and implementation of the cooperative Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 mission, involving also ESA, the European Union through its Copernicus programme and the United States, through NASA and NOAA. Together with Jason-3, planned to be launched in January 2016, this high precision ocean altimetry mission will extend until 2030 the sea level measurements accumulated by previous Jason missions. It will thus deliver invaluable information on climate change and its impacts in support of mitigation and adaptation policies expected to be approved by the ongoing COP 21.
The Council also extended the contracts of Livio Mastroddi, Director of Operations, and Yves Buhler, Director of Technical and Scientific Support, for a period of another five years.
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 is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason-2, Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and 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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