EUMETSAT and NOAA sign Polar System Programme Implementation Plan

On 15 December, Europe and the US achieved another milestone in the cooperation on meteorological satellite systems when Marc Cohen, EUMETSAT Associate Director for LEO Programmes and Harry A. Cikanek III, NOAA Director, Joint Polar Satellite System signed the plan that will implement the Joint Polar System (JPS).

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

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The Polar System Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) encompasses the space and ground segments associated with EUMETSAT’s Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG) and the Joint Polar Satellite System of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It also regulates the use of assets and operations as well as access to third party mission products such as the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme of the EU and the NOAA Constellation Observing System for Meteorology Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC) and follow-on partnerships.


The JPS extends to a new generation of polar-orbiting satellites the cooperation established since 1998 on the Initial Joint Polar System which builds on EUMETSAT’s Metop and NOAA’s POES and Suomi-NPP satellites.

The agreement on the JPS was signed on 2 December 2015, between the EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier and Stephen Volz, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services

JPS can be considered as a ‘system of systems’, with each party responsible for designing, sizing, and operating their own space and ground assets to meet their mission needs. At the same time, the partners have agreed to exploit those assets in a way that optimises cross-support to the other party.  Data and products generated by each party will be distributed to their own user community and will be available for access by the other party.  Each party will fulfill its responsibilities on a best effort basis, taking into account schedule and funding constraints. 

Marc Cohen, Associate Director EUMETSAT said, “JPS is designed to provide observations from two complementary polar orbits in the period from 2020 to 2040. The Implementation Plan we have now signed will translate our designs into action.”

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